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As New York returns to some level of normalcy after 24 months of COVID-19, the streets and avenues of Hell’s Kitchen are saying goodbye to some businesses and welcoming others to the neighborhood. Here’s a brief roundup of what’s coming to town and what’s departed!
Welcome to Thonglor at 789 9th Avenue, which has taken the location occupied by Mi Nidito between W52nd/53rd Street on the west side. Thonglor “serve familiar, traditional, and unique Thai food with new, modern twists and recipes.”
A little further up the road at 813 9th Avenue, a new Indian restaurant has arrived this month, replacing Yuqi’s Thai Cuisine. Jaz — named after owner Jaz Rupall —will serve northern Indian cuisine. Rupall was born and raised as a second-generation British-Indian in England and always dreamed of opening her own restaurant. During the pandemic she created at-home cooking courses — which she intends to hold at the restaurant in the coming months. Jaz has hired Co-Executive Chefs Bachan Rawat (Bukhara Grill) to cook the restaurant’s curries and Arif Ahmed (Bombay Grill, Sapphire) to operate the tandoor oven at the new establishment.
More West Side newcomers
Fans of Badshah are disappointed at the closure of the popular Indian restaurant on 9th Avenue — perhaps they will find solace at nearby Jaz. Owner Abhishek Sharma did not respond to a request for comment. During the pandemic, he generously offered the opportunity for the chefs of Mikey Pomodoro to run a lunchtime popup from the eatery. Sharma is the chef at another Indian restaurant on the Upper West Side — Swagat.
Over on 10th Avenue, the signs have gone from the front of 123 Burger Shot Beer. The bar was known for its famed combination of $1 burger, $2 shots and $3 beers. “123 Burger Shot Beer gives way to the new breed collegiate while paying homage to those who pine for the days of cheap beer and great burgers,” said owner John Greco III on their website. 123 Burger Shot Beer’s other location in Harlem at 125th Street remains open.
We will be getting a new Brazilian restaurant at 688 10th Avenue in the coming months. Chef Carlos Inacio, who has been running Rice X Beans in Woodside (and up until the pandemic had an outpost on 9th Avenue), is coming back to Hell’s Kitchen. The restaurant will be called Rice X Beans and will take the place where Havana Social, Madrock and Lamano Tapas restaurant used to be between W48/49th Street.
Just across the street at 691 10th Avenue is a new pizza joint getting ready to open. Called Royal Napoli Pizza, the new eatery is sandwiched between 5 Brothers Gourmet and Ñaño Ecuadorian Restaurant in a place that many locals will remember previously as Bab Marrakech.
El Cartel is currently recruiting staff to open a new South American-inspired tapas bar at 613 9th Avenue. The location is in the former Lenwich space in between W43rd/44th Street. They are promising “an emphasis on Colombian flavors and small plates” including fresh octopus with paprika, mixed ceviche with shrimp and tilapia, and grilled chicken breast in a creamy mushroom sauce.