Changes are coming to popular kosher restaurants in New York City. Since March, over 1,000 restaurants in the city have permanently shut down. To survive, restaurants adjusted their menus, added delivery options and created outdoor dining spaces. In addition to those tactics, Noi Due Cafe, the Italian eatery on the Upper West Side, and Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse, located in Crown Heights, announced plans to open new locations.
Noi Due Cafe announced on Wednesday, December 16, in an Instagram post, that the restaurant will be moving to a new “spacious” location at 491 Columbus Ave. The new location, according to the post, will “host an open kitchen with an incredible new custom-made brick oven pizza” as well as two party rooms and a bar area with high-top tables and an open lobby. Also in the works is a large outdoor cafe area for year-round use.
The move will take place in early 2021. The current location at 143 West 69th Street will be closed briefly for “refurbishment,” according to the post. A new concept for the current location will be announced soon. Restaurateur Golan Chetrit and his wife, Imma, opened up Noi Due in 2009. In 2017, they opened up Noi Due Carne, the restaurant’s meat counterpart.
Like Noi Due, Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse is in for a change of scenery. The Brooklyn staple announced plans to add a location on the Upper West Side in the coming months. In the past, the Brooklyn hotspot attracted visitors from all over the country. In fact, if you’ve ventured to Brooklyn, it might have been to try one of Izzy’s popular brisket dishes. Izzy’s Brooklyn Smokehouse, located in Crown Heights, brings a local twist to Southern cuisine. The six-year-old local establishment is a favorite among meat lovers everywhere. During the pandemic, the smokehouse faced challenges as their large out-of-town customer base stopped visiting. During this time, the restaurant increased delivery options, travelling as far as Cleveland to provide great food to carnivores across the country.
Despite the immense hardships brought on by the pandemic, there is a silver lining. In an Instagram live video, owner Sruli “Izzy” Eidelman pointed out that “the people who come out and survive this will be stronger than anything.”
Additionally, new ideas are born from survival strategies. Whether it’s a food truck or menu special, the restaurant, like many others, boosted its creativity in strategizing ways to stay afloat. The ultimate decision for survival was to open a new space on the Upper West Side.
“We’re excited to be closer to New Jersey, Teaneck and Englewood,” said the Smokehouse owner. Eidelman stated the new location will feature a slightly different menu: “We’re going to focus on deli. It’s a lost art.” In addition to the restaurant’s staple foods like brisket, the menu will see new items featuring deli classics such as pastrami, corned beef and smoked turkey—all cured in-house.
The new smokehouse location is expected to open in a couple of months at 660 Amsterdam Avenue. The timeline depends on current COVID-19 restrictions.
Indoor dining capacity is currently set at 25% in New York City. The governor extended the moratorium on evicting tenants to January 1. Many restaurant owners brace themselves for upcoming rent payments without that protection.
By Ayelet Ehrenkranz