I love my Upper West Side neighborhood.
But today, I have a major beef.
Ditch Plains, a wonderful restaurant across the street from my apartment, has closed. And the rents in my neighborhood are to blame.
Owner Marc Murphy did everything right when they opened three years ago. Their ‘soft open’ lasted a month, offering the entire menu at half-price and free appetizers and desserts. By the time they officially opened their doors, the entire neighborhood was hooked. On the menu. The atmosphere. The friendly vibe.
During the past three years, I have been a loyal customer, and from my unique vantage point, I have seen them maintain a healthy business — far more popular with people of all ages than the two previous restaurants that occupied that same space for brief spans of time. But like their predecessors, Ditch Plains’ success still couldn’t scale the exorbitant rents in my neighborhood.
And they are no more.
If you visit my neighborhood, you will see several empty storefronts. They no doubt are victims, too.
This is just the first to hit so close to home.