Moishe’s Bakery may get a new life in the East Village

May 31, 2019

Photo by James and Karla Murray of the store in 2015 after the original signage was replaced following the East Village gas explosion nearby.

“Formerly Moishe’s” is the strangely straightforward name that may soon christen the beloved East Village Kosher bakery. A local tipster and friend of long-time owner Moishe Perlmutter told EV Grieve that Moishe recently let him know that a new group of bakers would be taking over the location. He said they’ll still serve baked goods and coffee and he may stay involved in some limited capacity. After 42 years in business, the bakery closed its doors in March after Moishe decided to retire.

Moishe Perlmutter’s parents met in a Nazi concentration camp, but after coming to America in the mid-’40s, his father started working in a small bakery on Suffolk Street. Years later, Moishe opened his own bakery in a small storefront on Houston and Orchard Streets. In 1972, thanks to affordable rents in the area, he moved to the larger space on Second Avenue. The East Village at the time was predominantly Polish, Ukrainian, and Jewish immigrants, so Moishe’s quickly became a local institution famous for its challah, rye bread, hamantaschen, rugelach, babka, and sugar kichel.

Even as the neighborhood changed, Moishe maintained his old-school recipes (he closely guards his famous hamantaschen recipe), continued to observe the Sabbath and close on Saturdays, and used the same rattling bread slicer that was there when he first moved in.

The news of the closing first came from local photographers James and Karla Murray, who have been documenting mom-and-pop businesses throughout NYC for many years. At first, it was believed that the building had been sold, but as The Real Deal tells us, an investor signed a 21-year lease for the building back in December. Then, reports said that the bakery was merely closed for renovations, which very well seems plausible.

Less likely is Moishe’s returning in its former glory. Comments from many local residents claim that Moishe let his long-time employees go without any notice. And judging by his recent claims, Formerly Moishe’s will be a completely new concept.

[Via EV Grieve]


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