Goodbye H&H

by Jonah Goldberg

This story is largely meaningless for non-New Yorkers, but the greatest bagel bakery in the world (no back talk French Canadians!) is closing down. I grew up four blocks away. My parents gave me fresh bagels as teething rings.

At 80th Street and Broadway, the sign is already gone but the aroma of freshly baked bagels still lingers.

Inhale it fast, Upper West Siders, because this is it: H & H Bagels, a Sunday stalwart for generations, will close Wednesday.

There is no explanation posted at the store, just a sign that says “Welcome to Visit Our Store at 639 West 46th Street,” which is where the company’s baking plant is also located. Both will continue to operate, store employees said.

A woman at the cash register said Tuesday was the store’s last day of business and directed questions to the main office. An employee outside said the closure was due to the rent, but the store’s owners have not confirmed or responded to calls for comment.

Patrons who trickled in for their last bagels Tuesday morning came from near and far. There was a couple visiting from Florida, formerly of Brooklyn. There was a woman from Westchester with her friend from California who wanted her two daughters to get a taste of the famed bagels. And there were neighborhood locals and regulars, many of whom are so used to swinging in for a bagel on the way to work that they didn’t even notice that the sign was gone, the store half-empty.

“What? Seriously?” said Janelle Alexander, 30 years old. “Now I have to go back and get some salmon.”

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