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Sapphire Indian Restaurant

Sapphire Indian Restaurant

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a business profile of a community award winning restaurant, Sapphire Indian Res, in New York City, written for Manhattan Media Group (Our Town, West Side Spirit)
a business profile of a community award winning restaurant, Sapphire Indian Res, in New York City, written for Manhattan Media Group (Our Town, West Side Spirit)

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Published by: Caroline Jaffe Pickett on Mar 18, 2011
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22

OUR TOWN

December 7, 2006

NEWS YOU LIVE BY

2006 small business awards

FOOD SERVICES
“We have an eclectic crowd of customers,” experience in the restaurant business, has owned this neighborhood pub for 26 years. His partners Jones said. “I’d say our age demographic of cusare Frank Granat, Ron D’Allegro and Stephen tomers is 30 to 100. We run the gamut.” Hanging on the restauSiegel. rant’s walls are authentic Knickerbocker first The Knickerbocker Bar and Grill posters celebrating New York opened its doors on April 21, 33 University Place City, as well as eight original 1977. Jones believes that 212-228-8490 despite the ups and downs of www.knickerbockerbarandgrill.com Al Hirschfeld caricatures. “The wide-open space of the economy over the years, reliable service and food keeps the locals coming the restaurant and the vibe inside gives The Knickerbocker the feeling of a New York saloon,” in for a meal. “Our steakhouse is known for its value and is Jones said. Another draw: live music. Knickerbocker has not as expensive as other steakhouses,” he said. “We’ve been around for 30 years and are well- had live jazz entertainment since the second year known. We’re a great neighborhood place with it opened. Currently, patrons can listen to jazz two repeat busi- nights a week (visit the website for a calendar of entertainment). Jones says that Harry Connick, ness.” Jr. got his start there. Popular The restaurant also draws in well-known writmenu choices include Knickerbocker’s trademark T-bone steak and the chocolate soufflé for two. ers and actors. Mel Brooks, F. Murray Abraham Jones said that when it comes to drinks, the and Chris Noth have stopped in for meals. Jones, restaurant draws a large martini crowd. The who is very hands-on with every aspect of the ambiance inside is warm and inviting, with a business, believes that value is what keeps his wide-open room, as opposed to smaller rooms restaurant thriving. “People feel they’re getting their money’s joined together or tables so close together you can join in on your neighbor’s conversation. CONTINUED ON PAGE 26 from a supermarket and warehouse. A strong believer in the Lincoln Square community, Sapphire provides appetizers and desserts as donations during the Lincoln Square blood drives, and also participates in the annual Winter’s Eve at Lincoln Square event to kick off the holiday season. Despite challenges such as nearby subway and street Satish Arora and his partners construction, Satish were attracted to the dynamic and his crew are Lincoln Square neighborhood good sports, happy as a home for their restaurant. to grow with a neighborhood that has served him so well.

ANDREW SCHWARTZ

Stephen Siegel and Ron D’Allegro operate a Greenwich Village favorite, Knickerbocker Bar and Grill.

Live Jazz and T-Bones at 2 am
Favorite Village bar and grill
By Rachel Sokol If you want to take more than just a bite out of the Big Apple, look no further than the Knickerbocker Bar and Grill, a popular Greenwich Village hangout. Stephen Jones, who has more than 30 years

from spicy entrees such as lamb and chicken vindaloo, to milder tikkas, kormas and masalas, artfully prepared by chef Vijay Bhargva. Vegetarian fare is also offered, with unusual dishes as well as old favorites such as vegetable byryani with saffron and nuts. The wine list is extensive, and they offer more than a dozen types of By Caroline Jaffe-Pickett With its eclectic décor and hearty menu showcas- breads—including naan, paratha and poori. A restaurateur for nearly 30 years, Satish grew up ing regional Indian cuisines, Sapphire offers hungry feasters an authentic and affordable dining treat in the in northern Punjab, India, were he learned the business from his family. Sapphire serves more than 200 heart of Lincoln Square. Satish Arora is one of the partners of Sapphire, dinners nightly, and also features a moderately priced which opened six years ago just before Time Warner lunch buffet Mondays through Saturdays. “We pride Center was completed. That development was a key ourselves on being different, and offering great food at moderate prices,” Satish said. reason Arora and his partners Sapphire Indian Cuisine If you feel like you’re in India chose the area. 1845 Broadway while you’re dining, that’s not a “We liked that these new busi212-245-4444 mistake. The restaurant’s special nesses were going up, and saw that the neighborhood would be great www.sapphireindiancuisine.com décor includes authentic wall hangings from Rajastan and an for us,” he said. Sapphire is one of the few Indian restaurants in the antique 100-year-old door, marking the dining room neighborhood, he said, and most definitely fills a void entrance, which the restaurant’s owners imported. for those craving curries, samosas and pakoras. The This is just part of the $1 million renovation that varied menu offers diners a broad range of dishes, Sapphire underwent when the space was transformed

A Lincoln Square Jewel

Sapphire serves up Indian

Bringing New Life to an Old Corner
Food, music and community
By Sherry Karabin By day it’s a coffee house; by night a cozy lounge. It’s called La Negrita and this Upper West Side business is quickly becoming a favorite among residents. “It livens up the area,” said regular Neil Fitzgerald. “It is one of the few places that provides live music and we need more of that.” “I feel like I get to know people in the

Sandy and Mike Savage modeled their restaurant, La Negrita, after a Seattle coffee shop. The couple met in a similar café in Honduras.

wife’s nickname as a child. Sandy grew up in Honduras and that is where the two met, in a café similar to the one they now own. “I used to work for restaurants, hotels and other neighborhood here,” said Monica Ibacache. “I met my similar businesses in my country,” said Sandy. new group of friends here.” Today she puts her talents to work for herself and Located at the corner of Columbus Avenue and 109th Street, La Negrita opened its doors in January she said she loves it. “I meet a lot of people everyday. 2005. The owners, Mike and Sandy Savage, are also Everybody is friendly and it’s mine. I’m my own boss.” The restaurant stays open seven days a week from Upper West Siders, who until recently lived above 7 a.m. to 2 a.m., with extended late-night hours on the their restaurant. weekends. There are eight full- and partSandy runs the day-to-day operations La Negrita time employees, and the menu includes at La Negrita, but it was her husband, 999 Columbus Avenue sandwiches, homemade soups, pastries Mike, who decided to open it, designing 212-961-1676 and, of course, coffee. The Savages get it in a style that he became familiar with www.lanegritanyc.com their beans from what Mike called the back home. The Seattle native moved into the neighborhood in the late 1990s. He said he has “best independent roaster in Seattle, Café Vita.” There always loved the area, but felt as though something are tables, benches and a bar where patrons can sit back, order a drink, chat and on some nights, listen to was missing. “In Seattle, there is a coffee house on every cor- live music, play trivia or hear poetry readings. ner,” Mike said. “I wanted to add this amenity to the Customers are even allowed to bring in their own area. We designed it as a place where people could food. “On any given night, you’ll find every religion and ethnicity here,” Mike said. relax as if they were in their living room.” He named his creation “La Negrita,” which was his CONTINUED ON PAGE 26

ANDREW SCHWARTZ

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