The original Ess-a-Bagel, the New York City bagel institution located in the Gramercy neighborhood of Manhattan, will close after 39 years at its 1st Avenue location.
Town & Village Blog reports that the store will only be open for a few more weeks. Owner David Wilpon, nephew of founder Florence Wilpon, stated that a landlord’s pulling Ess-a-Bagel’s lease is the reason the business will shut down.
“There’s a lot that’s up in the air,” he said, adding that he’s still holding out some hope of staying put. He’s also requesting a holdover and is in the midst of negotiations.
Ess-a-Bagel joins a couple of other local restaurants that will also close its doors: Grill 21 and Rose Restaurant. The owners of Grill 21, Henry and Marissa Beck, also saw another of their nearby spots, a bakery, shutter its doors last month. The two things that will replace Ess-a-Bagel will be a Bank of America and a Tower Bagels.
Twitter, obviously, did not enjoy seeing this news.
Despite Ess-a-Bagel’s long-standing residency at its O.G. spot (it has a second store in Midtown)–and a signature atmosphere cultivated by its waiters’ perceived gruffness–its moving is nothing new to New York City restaurant culture. The city, as many cliches attest, is constantly changing, forcing out old-guard and incredibly beloved institutions.
Wiley Dufresne’s influential wd~50 closed in November 2014 after a developer decided to place a new building on its site. Dufresne told The New York Times in June something that’s just as salient here for people mourning the loss of Ess-A-Bagel:
Indeed it is.