[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."