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Famed NYC Institution H & H Bagels Closing Up Shop On Upper West Side

Mystery Surrounds Decision, But Owners Have Another Location On West 46th
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H & H Bagels

The famed H & H Bagels shop on the Upper West Side closed down on June 22, 2011. (Photo: CBS 2)

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UPDATED 06/22/2011 9:29 a.m.

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — It’s the end of an era on the Upper West Side.

By Wednesday morning, the famous brown and tan H & H Bagels sign and awning was gone; some of the fixtures inside were pulled down leaving only exposed wires dangling from the ceiling. The landmark location at 80th and Broadway is closing, reports CBS 2’s Derricke Dennis.

Since opening in 1972, H & H has become synonymous with New York bagels. The place — one of only two in the city — has become an institution. The popular, cash-only, hot and fresh bagel shop is closing the storied Upper West Side location for good.

“I feel sad. It’s the end of an era for H & H bagels,” one customer said.

The exterior of H&H Bagels on the Upper West Side - New York, NY - Jun 22, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

The exterior of H&H Bagels on the Upper West Side - New York, NY - Jun 22, 2011 (credit: Paul Murnane / WCBS 880)

“It’s a New York thing, of course, especially fresh bagels,” Upper West Side resident Norman Weinstein said.

“This is actually really upsetting,” Rebecca Allen said.

Allen stopped in Tuesday with some friends from out of town, not knowing it would be the last time she’d get her favorite at the shop.

“The plain bagel, just like a really nice plain bagel on Saturday,” Allen said.

WCBS 880’s Paul Murnane On The Upper West Side

For generations, H & H has been the place for New York bagels. Countless newspaper write-ups on the walls of the shop on 80th confirm that, attracting customers from literally all over. Part of the allure was the doughy delights being baked right up front.

“I came from Cedar Rapids, Iowa, just to have a bagel,” patron Jennifer Burstain said.

Why the Upper West Side location is closing is as big of a mystery as what is in the bagels. Dennis heard everything from the owners lost their lease, to financial problems.

“I understand the mother company, whatever that is has gone bankrupt,” Weinstein said.

Some customers, like David Gleiner, saw the writing on the wall.

“I think it’s ridiculous the money they charge for bagels, they put themselves out of business I guess,” Gleiner told 1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg. “If you don’t give the people what they want at a fair price they’re going to go some place else.”

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Some Customers Saw It Coming

Many however agreed in saying the place will be missed.

“Having to go 50 blocks to get bagels now, it’s gonna be kind of tough, so, this a tough day,” Upper West Side resident Mike Levy said.

The long trek is exactly what the shop is hoping customers will do. A sign can be seen outside touting its soon-to-be only location at West 46th Street. Come Wednesday, you’ll have to get your “everything” bagel somewhere else.

In addition to the store on West 46th Street, workers said customers can still get their H & H bagels shipped worldwide.

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