When a new kosher restaurant opens on the Upper West Side, word spreads like wildfire. Upon hearing that a new kosher burger place opened in my neighborhood, I was beyond thrilled. Not only was is right around the corner, but they deliver too! I ventured to Amsterdam Burger Company during its second week since opening. I didn’t quite know what to expect but I went in there being open to what they had to offer. I took one look at their paper menus – as they were still getting settled into their new digs – and although not much was offered initially, they still delivered on quality and unique flavors with lots of the thought and care. Simple yet dignified. As I quickly skimmed I noticed the very bottom of the menu read, “all our products are from grass-fed, organic kosher meat.” I was even more impressed that a kosher establishment was finally on board with the environmental movement and was able to call themselves not only kosher, but sustainable as well! Already this classy burger joint was off to an incredible start.
Upper West Siders practically sat shiva when the beleaguered H & H Bagels shuttered its iconic West 80th Street store in July.
But round baked goods may rise again in those cold, dormant ovens. DNAInfo reported today that Queens-based Davidovich Bakery, which bills itself as “the only manufacturer in the world that makes hand-rolled kettle-boiled bagels for the wholesale community,” may open its first retail location in the hallowed space where H & H sated bagel cravings, 24/7, for nearly 40 years.
(For a history of the bagel, check out our timeline)
The sign is gone at the legendary H & H bagel shop at West 80th and Broadway. A TV truck with its long-prong antenna is parked out front. On the sidewalk, people pull their smart phones up to eye level and snap away.
Today is reportedly the last day of the Upper West Side bagel shop, and the lines inside run eight and 10 deep. It’s one last go round for these hot and doughy bagels, fresh from the oven. The man behind me in line holds a hand-written petition to keep the shop open. Others in line take photos of the signs above the counter, where the bagels wait in bins for hungry customers.
I live in the neighborhood, but have been here only once before. I naively ventured in months ago and asked for a bagel with light cream cheese. The counterman snapped back at me, “We don’t sell them that way.” Off I went empty handed.
Deli bagels are for toasting and spreading with cream cheese. Fresh supermarket bagels are for lox. Lender’s bagels are for when you’re traveling and desperate.
Only H&H’s bagels are for eating hot and plain — crisp on the outside and a little doughy inside. And though this bagel is as essential to Manhattan’s Upper West Side as the beignet is to New Orleans and the croissant to Paris, today is the last day you will ever be able to enjoy one there.
Following legal troubles and a February bankruptcy filing by an apparently associated firm, the quintessential New York bagel shop is reportedly closing its West 80th and Broadway location for good today.
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