Bagel Lover’s Lament

JTA reports:

H&H bagel store to close
June 22, 2011
NEW YORK (JTA) — H&H Bagels, the no-frills bagel shop that for decades was a beloved fixture of Manhattan’s Upper West Side, is reportedly closing its doors.

The store, located at 80th and Broadway, is famous for its no-nonsense food service; customers who want a bagel with a schmear have to buy the cream cheese separately and put it on themselves.

The store reportedly will close in the next few days. Employees said H&H’s factory store on West 46th Street would remain open.

Founded in 1972, the story recently fell into fiscal troubles, filing for Chapter 11 bankruptc

y in February. That came on the heels of guilty plea in May 2010 by its owner and co-founder Helmer Toro to grand larceny charges. Toro had failed to fork over some $330,000 in payroll taxes he had withheld from employees, according to The New York Times.

City Councilwoman Gale A. Brewer, who represents the Upper West Side, said the loss of the store would be a crushing blow to the neighborhood.

“It’s an institution, almost like a museum,” Brewer told the Times. “Everybody dreams of their store being a destination, but this one really is a destination. You can literally get a hot bagel at 3 o’clock in the morning, and it literally comes out of the oven in front of you.”

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