A&E | Jan. 12 10:04 pm EST

Columbia Cottage the latest to close its doors

Courtesy of Wikimedia Commons

The latest Morningside storefront to close its doors is Columbia Cottage, which will end its over 20-year run at the end of February. According to a letter they posted, rising rent prices are the main reason they were unable to renew the lease. This seems to be a trend in Morningside, with Card-O-Mat’s closure last spring being just the most recent example.

MoHi seems to be going through a  lot of change these past few weeks. Citibank burned down yesterday, partially taking Samad’s Gourmet and The Heights down with it (fingers crossed that they’ll be up and running soon!). Thankfully, as reported on Spec’s own Twitter, “Heights owner Feras Samad says they are waiting to re-enter the building and don’t know extent of damage, but plan on reopening ‘quickly.’” Samad is also the owner of Samad’s Gourmet.

Not only this, but there are also reports that Crumbs will be closing. While it’s sad to see all these businesses go, we can only hope that some great new stores will take their places. Card-O-Mat’s replacement, Dig Inn, looks pretty promising, so let’s hope there’s more where that came from!

Check out the full letter, courtesy of Bwog, after the jump.

Dear Columbia University faculty and employees:

We regret to inform you that Columbia Cottage Restaurant will cease operations on February 28, 2014 and close our doors after serving the community for over twenty years.

We are sad that our landlord refused to renew our lease in good faith and instead he will put the space on the market for twice the amount of rent we are currently paying. Our last day open for serving lunch and dinner will be Wednesday February 20, 2014.

Because of changes with our financial institution we could no longer accept checks for payment from the date of this notice we will be accepting cash and credit cards for all transactions. We are sorry for this inconvenience but these are the procedures we must follow for accounting purposes.

Thank you.


Columbia Cottage Management





  1. Anonymous • January 13, 2014 at 8:48 am • Reply

    Most of the rent increases are due to the increases in taxes and utilities. Rents cannot remain stable as taxes and utilies continue to rise.

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    • CC 14 • January 13, 2014 at 12:58 pm • Reply

      Yes… and guess what university owns nearly every building in this neighborhood except for the churches, hospital, and independent frat houses…

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      • Jo • January 13, 2014 at 1:52 pm •

        That does not relate to the statement above. Columbia has no control over city tax increases and the rising costs of utilities and insurances. That is why rents go up to cover these costs. Should Columbia be taking a loss on rent?

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      • CC 14 • January 13, 2014 at 3:23 pm •

        I might argue that, yeah, Columbia should take a loss on rent (though you’re only assuming that that would be necessary–show me numbers). depends if you think columbia is a profit-driven corporation… or a not-for-profit university.

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  2. Uptown • January 13, 2014 at 12:03 pm • Reply

    The only businesses will then be chains and high end shops. Shame to see the neighborhood lose its character

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  3. ree4 • January 13, 2014 at 6:03 pm • Reply

    Actually, Columbia should take some of the blame for City tax increases. All of the property it acquires comes off the property tax rolls because it (like NYU and the Catholic Church, the two other largest landowners in the City) it is a tax-exempt not-for profit institution. All of the rest of us make up that lost revenue through our rents or tax bills if we own property. For example, all those properties in the 17 acres Columbia has evicted businesses and residents from in Manhattanville paid real estate taxes in the past. Not any more.

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    • Anonymous • January 13, 2014 at 8:01 pm • Reply

      That is not exactly true. Many of the buildings are owned by profit making and tax paying university affiliated entities. Moreover, Columbia and NYU are huge draws to the city for students, professors, billions of dollars in research and grants and developments. Columbia’s Manhattanbille campus is generating thousands of jobs, new construction, and countless new business and industries Columbia and NYU generate billions of dollars to NewYork City’s local economy. To say that these university are “costing the city” in any way is extremely naive and a joke.

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  4. Thomas T • January 13, 2014 at 10:03 pm • Reply

    That spot where Crumbs is at must be cursed. I cannot recall any business in that storefront in the past decade that lasted longer than 2 years.

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  5. Anonymous • January 16, 2014 at 12:08 pm • Reply

    This is just sad. One of the best, most reliable spots in Morningside Heights; I have been going to and ordering from Columbia Cottage for the last 12 years. Is nothing sacred?!

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  6. Judy • February 16, 2014 at 12:58 pm • Reply

    C.C. does a lively business, and for good reason. Years ago it replaced a little Hungarian restaurant called the Green Tree and in no time captured my heart. A cozy, sunny home away from home. And talk about that hot and sour soup!

    How is it that the Hungarian Pastry Shop is able to survive? Just curious.

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  7. bob • February 26, 2014 at 5:27 pm • Reply

    Good riddance!! the Columbia Cottage restaurant owners maintained a racist policy of refusing to deliver to apartments on the east side of Morningside Park, and when called on it, actually admitted their racist policy, saying “that neighborhood” was unsafe. the facts differ.

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