Wednesday, March 6, 2019

[Updated] Claim: After 40-plus years, Moishe's Bake Shop has closed on 2nd Avenue


[Photo from 2016 by Derek Berg]

After months of speculation that it might be closing, Moishe's Bake Shop reportedly shut down yesterday after 40-plus years in business here at 115 Second Ave. near Seventh Street.

Storefront photographers James and Karla Murray first posted the news last night on Instagram:

Sadly, we just heard from the owner, Moishe Perl, that today was its last day as the entire building has been sold. We loved this kosher bakery as everything was baked on the premises fresh every day. They were known for their challah bread, rye bread, hamantaschen, rugelach, babka and sugar kichel.

In December, investor Jay Schwimmer picked up a 21-year lease for the entire three-story building with the option to buy the building from Perl, who has been the owner since the mid-1970s, per The Real Deal. (The thinking among some Moishe's fans was that the lease provided Perl with a financial cushion until he retired, with a buyer already waiting in the wings.)

The Murrays said that Perl is retiring.

According to public filings, the memorandum of lease is for a little more than $3 million. The terms of the lease were to start "on or about" March 1, 2019.



There isn't any public record of a sale.

Perl and bakery employees had denied that the shop was closing.

Depending on the source, the shop either opened in 1972 (The Villager), 1974 (The New York Times) or 1978 (the store's website, which is now offline, and the phone has already been disconnected).

No word yet on what Schwimmer has planned for the property.

Updated 7:30 a.m.

Here's an early morning look at the shop... someone has cleaned out the space ... the display trays have been removed from the front window ...



... and two more photos via Steven...





Updated 11:30 a.m.

Steven notes that paper now covers the front windows...



... and there's a closed-for-renovation sign...



One commenter on the Murray's Instagram post said that Mr. Perl's son was going to open a coffee shop-bakery here.

A staffer at the Lower East Side outpost of Moishe's confirmed to Eater that yesterday was the last day for the Second Avenue location.

Updated 2:30 p.m.

The owner of a local restaurant shared this: "We use Moishe’s rye and pumpernickel ... and as far as he has told us, he is still going to continue on in that space after remodeling. It sounds like it’s going to be more of a cafe but still offer their products. He’s still actively delivering wholesale to us. He made a delivery last night."

Updated 5:30 p.m.

Per amNY's coverage:

"Owner Moishe Perl confirmed to amNewYork that the store was closed, but didn't give further details about his decision or its future."

Updated 8:30 p.m.

The story continues to change. Sounds like retirement is on hold. Here's Patch:

Perl is searching for new management to re-open the spot as a cafe and bakery as soon as the end of April after Passover or early May, depending how the renovations play out.

"We have a lot of options, and I'm here 49 years, you know what I mean?" Perl told Patch. "I wanna give over the management to somebody, and then I can see what kind of role I'm going to play in it."

42 comments:

Anonymous said...

And today would have been cinnamon babka day.

Donnie Moder said...

This is one of those extremely EVGrieve-worthy stories. I feel like we should be having a funeral, not just for the store, but for the neighborhood and a way of life that will not exist anymore. Well wishes to Mr. Perl for many years of great service.

blue glass said...

dinner and dessert
gone
tads was one of the very few "restaurants" that cooked their meat over fire - inexpnsive and almost decent. we took our own butter for the potatoe and bread and were happy with the awful red flocked wallpaper that masked the dirt.
dessert at moishes
gone
at least they did not morph into a fancy expensve appetizer store.
the last of the lower second avenue jewish food treats scene.
hopefully we will stll have B&H for a while longer.

Maj said...

enough with the selfish comments...newsflash: it's not all about you. they ran a great, successful business that brought enjoyment to many for over 50 years, and presumably made a bundle in selling the building. don't they deserve the right to retire and enjoy the profits of their labor? who are we to be "sad"? we should be happy for them that things turned out so well.

2ndAveSilverPanther said...

This REALLY hurts. Lots of closings around here, but I haven't felt this bad since The Stage went belly-up. Thanks for the memories.

Anonymous said...

Terrible. Everything owned by "investors" who don't necessarily live in the neighborhood, so aren't concerned about or contributing to the community, just taking. It's happening all over the city.

Starzulla said...

As a young kid (12 years old) I worked for Mr Perl early 1969-1971 when his bakery was on Houston Street — it was a sad day to see him leave, but we followed him only block away ��

Starzulla said...

As a 12 year old I would work there in Sunday mornings after Church— 1970– almost 50 years ago) his baked goods were warm n delicious n when they relocated, we were saddened, but were able to walk a few blocks to find him

JAZ said...

damn

Donnie Moder said...

I distinctly wished Mr. Perl well and thanked him for 40 years of service and would do so again at the drop of a hat. I am glad if he benefits from a sale of the real estate, and it is none of my business to comment on that part of the transaction anyway.

Giovanni said...

This is one of the saddest closings ever. Thanks to Moishe’s for all the years of great baked treats and memories. I only wish they had given their loyal customers one more chance to come by, pick up some hamanstaschen, babka, and a loaf of rye bread, and say goodbye to the staff before they closed down.

Anonymous said...

This is shocking! Regardless of whether it is a happy retirement or not, as a longtime resident it's hard not to be rattled by a loss like this.

Anonymous said...

I got two cookies there just yesterday. I wish them the best . I’ll take my time savoring my last half moon from them.

Anonymous said...

Wow. This is a HUGE loss for our hood. I am speechless.

Chelsea Girl said...

what sad news- real estate is such a big deal

Anonymous said...

While it's indeed sad to lose such a wonderful business, I'll admit I'm relieved, and even happy that the cause is not rising rents, or the building being sold out from under him. This s the way it should be- where the owner of the business gets to retire and close on his own terms.

Anonymous said...

Back in the late 80's, I worked near there and usually settled one of the herculean hamentashen, which was both delicious and staved off hunger for at least half the day. Now if I visit that area, it'll be to have a meal at either Veselka or the Ukranian National Home nearby.

Anonymous said...

Obviously the business owners deserve to retire and enjoy the fruits of their labor, but I had friends going in as recently as last week, asking if the rumors were true, whether the building got sold or if they were really closing...

They categorically denied everything! So for them to close up, unceremoniously after 50 years, without giving anyone a chance to make one more visit to pay respects and get something sweet, is such a disappointment and such a sad end to a cultural and neighborhood staple, especially because they sold a product that you cannot readily find in the city in this day and age...

Some of us don't live in the neighborhood anymore, and you bet I would have dragged my ass all the way there for a few apricot hamantaschen one last time.

And to read that White Horse Tavern may have just gotten sold.... its starting to feel like every little victory, every little win we get for the little guy or an independent business, every step forward comes with 5 steps backward....

Anonymous said...

Well said Maj!

Anonymous said...

Maj, it's possible for us to rejoice that Mr. Perl has run a successful business and is headed into a well-earned retirement AND to regret that the store and its delicious baked goods won't be there. It's sad to see a neighborhood fixture of such charm disappear. I suppose that it IS selfish to want to continue eating their hamantaschen, pumpernickel, and tri-color cookies--but they were wonderful.

Shelly S said...

My grandfather was a kosher baker and he'd bring us breads, cakes, and cookies every couple of weeks. Moishe's was the closest I found for those cookies of my childhood. I didn't get over there too often in recent years, but whenever I was in the neighborhood, I'd buy a half pound of cookies to nosh on. It saddens me that I won't be able to do that, anymore.

Deborah Frost said...

OY

showard said...

I remember when Moishes was on Houston, right next to Ben’s cheese shop. What a great shoppping area it used to be. We can want to see local businesses stay, particularly ones with such a rich cultural history, and wish the owners a happy retirement. I wish the new owners had instead decided to keep Moishes going.

Keith Goldstein said...

Saddened to hear this. The hamantaschen was the best. Not the commercial crap they sell on the Upper west Side.

Anonymous said...

Can someone just ask Moishe what the hell is going on? Why lie and post a sign that you are renovating if you are closing? He doesnt gain ANYTHING from that

sophocles said...

Best of luck to all at Moishe's in their next Act. I would have liked a last cinnamon-raisin babka (not a lesser chocolate babka), but I understand that some people do not like a lot of fanfare when they are leaving. For those who will need a replacement, I highly recommend Las Delicias Patisserie, a kosher, "boutique gourmet" bakery that has a stall at Union Square Market. Their "monster" babkas (cinnamon and chocolate combined) are excellent, as are their rugelach (gluten free), and everything else I've tried...Happy Trails.

Buffalo Queen said...

Okay, this one hits home for this jaded native New Yorker. I am going to cry. Unreal. I'm heartbroken.

Anonymous said...

I wish they had waited till after Purim. With Hamentashen from Moishes it isn't the same holiday. So sad.

Anonymous said...

Oh Boo Hoo!

ebwally said...

I never took Moishe's for granted and enjoyed each and every chocolate cigar I had. Thanks Moishe! I wish we had a little warning. And so it goes ...

Anonymous said...

we didn't even get to say goodbye! the ladies! The ladies!

Anonymous said...

The update that his son may open a cafe/coffee house somewhat softens the blow. I am also relieved that evidently this means the building won’t be torn down to be replaced by a taller, ugly glass and steel condo. At least, fingers crossed that this is true.

Anonymous said...

NO! This must be a joke. It's not April Fool's day yet.

Seth said...

Out of bounds for EVG but Moishe's has another branch over on Grand Street, think that's still open?

Anonymous said...

Seth, I dont believe they are related. I have asked in the past and been told that they are not connected...Eater seems to think otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Burst out crying at this. If the younger folks knew what a community this used to be, where so much... everything was available and available inexpensively, they would too.
Stopped by Mosihe's today for a hamentashen and the signs were up. I wish Mosihe well in his retirement. Do not understand why couldn't he have told us he really was closing. Would of been nice to stop in, stock up, and say goodbye to to the lovely ladies who worked for him.
At least we still have Block Drugs.

Zach said...

This one hurts. Enough is enough. We need to become a political force.

Anonymous said...

I have been buying my black and whites here since July of 1979. What am I going to do now? Nobody else even makes those Chocolate Bells that are so rich you can have a sugar overdose in just four bites. I wish the owners well and understand.....sometimes it is just time to go. But the bakery will be missed beyond words. Walking past it 3 times a day for so long and looking at those delectable treats in the windows was always brought a happy feeling to me. Bye Moishe Perl....Good luck and Shalom.

Billsville said...

Moishes will be missed, and I have been a customer for years, but in the meantime we need our baked goods. In addition to a number of bakeries who sell at Union Square like Bread Alone (try their olive loaf and scones), there is Breads Bakery on 16th Street which makes great babka, and ocassionaly carries some of the best hamantaschen around. I go up to Grand Central sometimes to Zaro’s Bakery for their Black and White cookies among other things. They also have amazing hot pretzels which are as fresh as any in the city. On the way out if you go through the fresh market near Lexington Avenue, there is an Eli’s (of Zabars) that also has baked goods, including their amazing tea ring with raisins and walnuts.

Anonymous said...

They had the best bad coffee around, I have fond memories of getting a coffee and apple turnover for breakfast (it was a special for a while), I'll remember the woman who worked there for many years, and the older man who passed on a few years ago.

Anonymous said...

I am crestfallen and shocked. What else is next to close down in our neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

Will Moishe's Bakery really re-open as Moishe's Bakery, especially since they sold the building?