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Gertel's Bakery Not Closing

by Yori Yanover

According to Abe Stein, owner of the legendary kosher bakery Gertel’s, at 53 Hester Street, there is “no base to rumors that the store is closing.”

The irate Mr. Stein called up the Grand Street News this morning, after reading a note in its November Grand Dining column listing Gertel’s as one of the neighborhood’s historic establishments slated to be closed.

But GSN’s food critic, C. Menegakos, was not the only prophet of gastrodoom. Back in October, NY Magazine cried: “Impending Jewish-Bakery Apocalypse?” warning that “Gertel's Bakery, one of the last of the old-time Jewish bakeries on the Lower East Side, may be shutting down, another victim of the condo-ing of New York.

"We haven't finalized anything yet," owner Abe Stern told NYM back then, without denying the possible closing, widely discussed in the neighborhood.” But, apparently, not denying is not the same as saying Yes.

Incidentally, NYM continued with a gut-wrenching speculation: “If that bakery's classic hamantaschen and rugalach are on the way out, we wondered, Can Yonah Shimmel's knishes and Kossar's bialys, other pillars of Jewish baked goods, be far behind?”

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