NEW YORK (FOX 5 NY) - Things are heating up again inside what was once the popular Isabella's restaurant on the Upper West Side. The iconic eatery attracted regulars and celebrities and was an institution in this neighborhood for 30 years. It closed abruptly in 2017, which took many Upper West Side residents by surprise.
The newly renovated restaurant on the corner of West 77th and Columbus Avenue is called 8th Hill. It offers Mediterranean cuisine.
Before the restaurant's recent opening, the building, across the street from the American Museum of Natural History, had been empty for two years. That is how long the new owner, Semi Feyzioglu, took to navigate New York City bureaucracy to get all the right permits needed to open.
"It was maybe the craziest decision I ever made in my life because dealing with the city is really tough," Feyzioglu said. He said he feels the pressure to live up to the legacy of his predecessor.
Chef Yilmaz Ucar will be trying to help his boss meet the challenge of pleasing the demanding palettes of New Yorkers.
"I promise to deliver him best Mediterranean restaurant in the city in six months," Ucar said.
The restaurant owner had competition for this desirable real estate. He said he convinced the building owner that he will be first and foremost a good neighbor.
8th Hill | 359 Columbus Avenue, New York, N.Y. 10024 | 212-439-5161 | 8thhillnyc.com