Famous hot chocolate spot City Bakery may close its doors

October 17, 2019

Map data © 2019 Google

As it approaches its 29th anniversary, Union Square-area favorite City Bakery may soon close its doors for good. The bakery and cafe opened in 1990 at 22 West 17th Street (it moved to its current 3 West 18th Street location in 2001) and has become well known over the years for its pretzel croissants, chocolate chip cookies, and decadent hot chocolate that comes with the option to add a massive, homemade marshmallow for $2, as well as the hot chocolate festival it hosted every February. However, as the Post first spotted, a two-part Instagram post last week explains that the bakery is in some serious financial trouble. “We have too much debt, debt which is like quicksand,” they wrote.

When Maury Rubin opened City Bakery, he was credited with helping to revitalize the Union Square area, along with Danny Meyer’s nearby restaurant Union Square Cafe. Both establishments took advantage of local ingredients from the farmers market. By 2001, Rubin had become so successful that he moved into a space five times larger with 120 seats and an all-day menu.

In more recent years, the company opened a smaller offshoot, Birdbath Neighborhood Green Bakery. The locations in Tribeca, Soho (in the former Vesuvio Bakery storefront), and two on the Upper West Side have all closed in the past couple of years. And it seems to be this venture that led to City Bakery’s current situation. In their Instagram post they note “some misses” and high costs associated with Birdbath, and they point to the fact that “a normal bank loan” was not available to them. So what happens next? According to their post:

Suffice to say for now: we won’t be staying in our current location. We may move. We may cater only. We may wholesale only. We may transform and partner with another food company in the city. There is also a strong possibility we will close entirely, and soon.

[Via NYP]


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Location: Union Square

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