Iconic Manhattan Jewish bakery shuts its doors

Speculation that Moishe's Bake Shop could reopen running rampant among babka and strudel devotees.

The Moishe's Bake Shop location in the East Village in 2012 (photo credit: ROB ZAND/FLICKR)
The Moishe's Bake Shop location in the East Village in 2012
(photo credit: ROB ZAND/FLICKR)
Moishe’s Bake Shop, an iconic mainstay in Manhattan’s East Village, unexpectedly closed its doors this week. The future of the location appeared to be in question on Thursday, with several conflicting reports surrounding its fate.
The kosher bakery, which first opened in the East Village in the early 1970s, was somewhat of an institution in the neighborhood, and one of the only remaining kosher bakeries in lower Manhattan. While Moishe’s has a second location on the Lower East Side, the East Village location became a beloved neighborhood standby and was mourned this week as news trickled out.
“Sadly, we just heard from the owner Moishe Perl that today was its last day as the entire building has been sold,” wrote photographers James and Karla Murray on Instagram on Wednesday. “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.”
 
 
 
 
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MOISHE’S BAKE SHOP on 2nd Avenue by East 7th Street has been in business since 1977. Sadly, we just heard from the owner, Moishe Perl that today was its last day as the 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. The first photo was taken with 35mm film in the early 2000s and the second photo which appears in our book “Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York” along with an interview with Moishe (swipe left) was taken a few years later after much of the graffiti was buffed off the facade reflecting the changes in the neighborhood. • #storefront #typevstime #disappearingfaceofnewyork #signcollective #signsunited #dailytype #fontastic #type #seeyourcity #ig_signage #everything_signage #eastvillage #signgeeks
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Eater.com reported that a staffer at the bakery’s Lower East Side location confirmed the East Village shop had shuttered its doors for good. And according to Gothamist, employees were only told Tuesday that the bakery was closing that day, and “as word spread, customers, many of them in tears, convened at the shop.”
But longtime owner Moishe Perl told the East Village Patch.com on Wednesday that the space is being renovated and might be reopened as a cafe after Passover.
“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... It’s going to be a beautiful place,” he added. “My mind is open for a lot of options... business is very hard, but it’s an amazing spot and it’s a busy spot.”
But in December, a city filing showed that investor Jay Schwimmer signed a 21-year-lease for the bakery’s location – and the two stories above it. At the time, speculation was already beginning that the bakery could be closing its doors.
Over its four decades in business, the bakery was renowned for providing a slice of history alongside its slices of rye. A 2016 New York Times profile was titled: “The East Village May Change, but the Strudel at Moishe’s Stays the Same.”


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