It would be an understandable mistake to think that this covered plaza, on the west side of Broadway between West 67th and 68th Streets, is all restaurant and no public space. Three large signs on the exterior trumpet the name “Ollie’s,” another sign identifies Ollie’s as a “Noodle Shop & Grille,” and the public space identification sign on glass entry doors in comparison fades into obscurity. Inside the glass panels and doors lining the public sidewalk is more confirmation of a restaurant. People are buying and eating takeout from the large food counter at back, seated around small tables in numerous molded white chairs near a large ice cream cone-shaped structure. A corridor at the southern edge of the space leads, in fact, to a restaurant to the west. Given the powerful image of private food services here, it bears emphasizing that this is public space, and no one is obligated to purchase or do anything. Understood as such, the food service becomes a pleasant amenity that may add to the enjoyment of neighborhood users and passersby. Beyond the northern end of the space, behind a wall covered with plants, is the entry corridor for residents of the Bel Canto, the host building.
Of the four covered plazas encouraged by the Special Lincoln Square District zoning, this is the only one devoted to food. The covered plaza at 2 Lincoln Square houses a museum, the One Harkness Plaza/Harmony Atrium space supplies a climbing wall, and the tiny outdoor covered plaza at 30 Lincoln Plaza leads to a superb landscaped plaza.