Openings and Closings: Agave, El Coco, Loeb Boathouse, Innovation Luggage, 16 Handles

Photograph by Scott Etkin.

By Scott Etkin and Lisa Kava
With additional reporting by Adelaide Gorton

Agave, a Mexican restaurant and tequila bar, officially opened on July 28 at 688 Columbus Avenue between 93rd and 94th Street. This past weekend they had a soft opening with drinks and snacks, and so far the reception has been positive, a manager told WSR. Agave is taking the place of Gabriella’s, the Mexican restaurant that closed in 2019 after 15 years. Tacos, quesadillas, burritos, fajitas plus salads and side dishes are all on the menu at this large indoor/outdoor space, which seats over 200 people. Delivery is expected to be available starting next week. Agave also has locations in Kips Bay and the West Village, known for their bottomless brunches. “Agave is where you go if you want to get drunk at brunch, but you don’t want to feel like you time-warped to freshmen year of college,” The Infatuation writes in its of the West Village location. (Thanks to Twilla for the tip.) 

Photograph by Scott Etkin.

El Coco, a taqueria, is opening at 104 West 73rd Street, right off Columbus. It also has locations in Chelsea and Hell’s Kitchen. The features “authentic Mexican dishes, empanadas, traditional tacos, and a variety of signature sauces,” according to the website. El Coco replaces Portofino Sun, the beauty and tanning salon, which has moved to 53 West 72nd Street on the second floor.

The Loeb Boathouse, the iconic restaurant on The Lake in Central Park, is planning to close this October due to “rising labor and costs of goods,” according to a company filing. The NYC Department of Parks and Recreation is seeking a new operator for the restaurant. The WSR’s Monday Bulletin has more information and some personal memories of the landmark from our readers. (Thanks to Gretchen and Thomas for the tips.)

Photograph by Adelaide Gorton.

Innovation Luggage, on the corner of 68th and Broadway, is closing on July 31 after 30 years of business. WSR previously reported that Morton Williams supermarket signed a lease to take up the whole block beneath the Dorchester Towers, with an opening planned for Summer 2023. Innovation Luggage is searching for a new location, Raphael, a manager, told the WSR. “We have a potential place on 55th and Broadway, but it’s not a done deal yet — we are still negotiating.” Innovation Luggage also has a shop in Westport, Connecticut, and two stores in California. 

Photograph by Scott Etkin.

16 Handles, the self-serve frozen yogurt shop, has closed its location on the corner of Broadway and 98th Street. A notice on the website says the closure is temporary and 16 Handles’ other UWS location (on 75th and Amsterdam) is still open. A clerk there said that there hasn’t been enough business at the Broadway store. (Thanks to Henry for the tip.)