The Upper West Side has lost too many neighborhood shops to count in recent years, but residents could always take comfort in a fresh bagel from H & H — that is, until next week.
What many consider New York’s premiere bagel shop, a neighborhood staple for nearly 40 years, will shutter its doors, possibly on Monday, because of problems with the lease, according to an employee of the bagel maker's Hell's Kitchen location. That shop, on West 46th Street, along with the adjacent plant, will remain open.
An attempt to reach H & H’s owner was not successful. The closure plan was first reported by the Wall Street Journal.
"I think it's a terrible, terrible loss for the neighborhood," said Scott Goldshine, general manager of Zabar's, itself a beloved Upper West Side gourmet emporium that is twice as old as the H&H shop, which sits at West 80th Street and Broadway.
It’s not H & H’s first brush with trouble. Owner Helmer Toro pleaded guilty in 2010 to grand larceny after withholding some $370,000 in payroll taxes. He received 50 weekends in jail and had to pay some $500,000 in restitution.
H & H’s demise will be sure to stir a neighborhood that has seen a bounty of chain stores replace its mom and pops.
"It's never a good thing when a neighborhood institution goes out," Goldshine said.