The Latest

THE LATEST

THE LATEST THINKING

THE LATEST THINKING

The opinions of THE LATEST’s guest contributors are their own.

Legendary Bakery Closes: Goodbye to Glaser's

Ellen Levitt

Posted on July 3, 2018 12:22

1 user

A 116-year-old Manhattan bakery that invented the black-and-white cookie is closing; fans are in mourning.

New Yorkers said a somber farewell to yet another iconic food establishment: Glaser's Bakery in the Yorkville neighborhood closed up shop after 116 years of making and selling sweet treats of various types. They are best known for their black-and-white cookies, which they originated shortly after opening in 1902. 

The bakery, located at 1670 First Ave by East 87th Street, had always been a cash-only business with reasonable prices; its black-and-whites were $2.50 each. It also sold breads, babkas, cakes, doughnuts and other baked goods. The Glaser family owned and staffed the bakery throughout its long run, and even owned the building. Unlike many other New York City businesses that shuttered when their rents had been greatly increased, the owners decided to retire due to the hard work and tough business environment.

Co-owner Herb Glaser had said, "It's not easy to run a retail bakery." 

People from the neighborhood and elsewhere came to shop in the waning days of the business, and some avid customers bought items to freeze and ration out. The building itself retained a definitive old-school appeal and look, with its original tiled floor and window displays.

Also in the windows, customers could see a New York City Council Proclamation, a black-and-white sketch drawn a few years ago, and a letter to fans which read in part, "After being a Yorkville institution for 116 years, Glaser's Bake Shop will close its doors on July 1, 2018 … Few businesses will ever have the privilege of knowing the loyalty, goodwill and friendship that have been extended to the Glaser family and to those who've worked behind the bakery counter." 

The local news media has covered the story for months, especially during the final days of existence: Newspapers, blogs, magazines, TV and radio outlets stopped by and witnessed the long lines of customers standing in the hot sun, waiting patiently to purchase one final box of cookies or a pie. 

2018 has already seen other long-lived, beloved businesses going under. Among these are El Quijote, a Spanish restaurant that opened 88 years ago but shuttered in March, and the Sunshine Cinema on Houston Street that closed in January, built in the 1840s and used as a church, a theater, a sports club, a hardware store and more. In Queens the well-known kosher deli Ben's is closing after 73 years. Last year in Brooklyn, the Vegas Diner closed after several decades, and the year before it the Del Rio diner closed after many years. In addition, a number of old churches have closed and their buildings sold.

Rent, competition, long hours — all these have helped close down longtime independent businesses in New York City. The local government is being asked to look into this issue, by both owners and customers who are bereft and growing angry at this trend, especially when some businesses close and the sites remain empty for a long time. It's a tough biz world.

Ellen Levitt

Posted on July 3, 2018 12:22

Comments

comments powered by Disqus
Source: CBS New York

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – It is closing time for a beloved bakery that opened more than 100 years ago on Manhattan’s Upper...

THE LATEST THINKING

Video Site Tour

The Latest
The Latest

Subscribe to THE LATEST Newsletter.

The Latest
The Latest

Share this TLT through...

The Latest