But on the services-starved area of the Upper West Side that stretches above 96th Street, the opening of Green Cafe on Broadway between 97th and 98th streets was cause for some modest rejoicing.
The new eatery’s presence “gives you a little hope,” said Valerie, a resident of nearby West End Avenue. “The only things that ever open around here are pharmacies and banks,” she added, gesturing at the scrum of drugstores that clusters around the intersection of 96th Street and Broadway.
“My two kids are excited about it because it’s new,” she said. Son Sebastian, 8, chimed in that he felt “good” about the new eatery and its selection of breakfast, lunch and snack foods.
What prompted Green Cafe to open at the locale on Broadway? Previously, the block had been occupied by a funky gift store and a children’s clothing boutique. Now, there’s a barber shop alongside the new cafe, which was festooned with colorful balloons in honor of opening day.
“It’s a great neighborhood” that’s “changing and improving” said assistant manager Jamil Uddin, who also attributed the choice of location to the unveiling in the next year of the renovated subway station at Broadway and 96th Street.
Meanwhile, Fernando Andrade, longtime owner of Andrade’ General Shoe Repair, located next to the Green Cafe, says he’ll be moving in the next few months to a new spot on Broadway between 99th Street and Broadway.
The reason? A rent hike. It makes staying at the current location “impossible,” Andrade said.