UPPER WEST SIDE, NY — A bit of a mystery is going on regarding the possible return of The Cottage, a longtime popular Chinese restaurant that closed in spring 2020 on the Upper West Side.
The Cottage opened in 1981 and became a Chinese food institution at its Upper West Side home at 77th and Amsterdam. However, feeling the full brunt of the coronavirus pandemic and not being able to work out a new lease with its landlord, the eatery closed the location permanently in April.
However, as first reported by ILoveTheUpperWestSide, a recently processed New York State Liquor Authority record from Tuesday lists that a liquor license approval is pending for “The Cottage Restaurant” at 2199 Broadway, which is at the corner of 78th Street.
It’s a block and an avenue away from the original Cottage location.
The 2199 Broadway address is the former home of La Caridad, which also closed its doors during the pandemic.
This is where things get a bit funky.
Understanding the funkiness starts with being very specific about the name of the restaurant recorded in the recent liquor license approval. It is “The Cottage Restaurant,” which is slightly different from “The Cottage” that served customers Chinese food for 40 years on the Upper West Side.
It’s a small change but a noteworthy one.
An eatery was recently added to GrubHub with the identical “The Cottage Restaurant” name.
Confusingly, though, the address it gives on GrubHub is 100 W. 82nd St., not 2199 Broadway. It is the same name seen in the liquor license approval document but a different address.
“The Cottage Restaurant” has Dim Sum, Tapas, and Hibachi sections outlined on its menu, something “The Cottage” had none of — as it offered different meals such as Shredded Beef done Szechuan-Style, Sesame Chicken, and Pork Buns.
While the owners of the closed “The Cottage” might have wanted to make a new menu in a reopening effort, it may seem odd to some that the new menu would differ so drastically from the original one.
However, in another possible clue, a logo for “The Cottage Restaurant” on GrubHub has a red background and yellow writing.
It is the same color scheme as the original Upper West Side Cottage.
Patch was not able to find a website for “The Cottage Restaurant,” and there are no reviews of the food on GrubHub. Also, multiple calls from Patch to the restaurant went unanswered.
The information leaves two major questions:
- Why are the addresses on the liquor license submission and GrubHub different, even though the same “The Cottage Restaurant” name is listed?
- Is this a reopening of “The Cottage” by previous owners or somebody else trying to use its name recognition in the same neighborhood to help with the success of a new restaurant?
The mystery doesn’t end quite yet.
The address given for “The Cottage Restaurant” on GrubHub, is 100 W. 82nd St., is the exact same address as Flame, a popular sushi restaurant on the Upper West Side.
When asked if Flame shared a building with a new eatery called “The Cottage Restaurant,” a person from Flame said that they haven’t been able to figure out the address for years and that mail was always getting sent to the wrong place.
When asked again if he had heard of “The Cottage Restaurant,” the person from Flame said “no.”
Interestingly, there is a section on the GrubHub menu of “The Cottage Restaurant” called “Flame Hibachi Menu.”
Many of the items within the section are almost identical to those seen on Flame’s menu.
Since the closure of “The Cottage,” rumors have circulated that the owners have been scouring the Upper West Side for a new place to open.
The return of the popular restaurant would be an undoubtedly positive business opening for the neighborhood, but it’s tough to say from this information what exactly the future holds.