The last lox and onion omelet has been served; the final basket of muffins and rugelach eaten down to crumbs. Call it the end of an era; on Monday, Bruce’s Bakery in Great Neck closed.
Founded in 1973 by Bruce Zipes, the kosher bakery's first incarnation was in Merrick. A few years later, Zipes moved the business to Roosevelt Field and, finally, relocated to Great Neck in 1983. It was then that Zipes took on partner Joel Goldberg and expanded the operation to include a full-service restaurant and a catering arm. In 1997, Zipes opened a midtown Manhattan location; it too, is now closed.
Reached by phone, Zipes said that he still owns Bruce’s Bakery and hopes it will reopen in Great Neck at the same address — but under different ownership. “I’m selling the business — the restaurant, the bakery and the name,” said Zipes, adding that the 30 years he put in was “just enough.”
Billing himself as “baker to the stars,” Zipes created “look-alike” cakes for such celebs as Jay Leno, Bill Cosby and Heather Locklear. Bruce's walls were adorned with photos of Zipes with such notables as Mickey Mantle and Hillary Clinton, who made a stop there in 1999 during her run for U.S. Senate. Zipes appeared on several TV shows, among them “Regis & Kathie Lee” and, in 2010, as a contestant on Food Network’s “Cupcake Wars.” Recently, the bakery was featured in an episode of the reality show "The Shahs of Sunset.''
Bruce's Bakery was at 34 Middle Neck Rd., in the heart of downtown Great Neck
Above: Bruce Zipes and his baked goods in 2000