City’s Oldest Jewish Bagel Shop Saved By Two Muslim Cabbies

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — The oldest Jewish bagel shop in New York City has been rescued by two Muslim cab drivers.

Peerzada Shah, who attended culinary school in Manhattan after immigrating from Pakistan, and Zafaryab Ali recently took over the 91-year-old Coney Island Bialys and Bagels.

1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks reports

Ali worked as a baker at the Coney Island Avenue store for 11 years before leaving five years ago to earn more dough driving a cab.

“Eleven years I work here. And after that I drive yellow cab,” Ali said. “Ii know about that, bialys and bagels and baking.”

When he heard the shop was in danger of closing, he immediately contacted his former roommate and decided to pull together to save the store. Together they used their savings to buy a bakery with a legendary reputation.

“It’s a Jewish-owned place for years. And now you’re going to sell it to Muslims? Thats odd,” customer Tom Smith told CBS 2’s Jay Dow.

Ali and Shah are determined to make this a smooth transition. They kept Ross old family bialy recipe and the same employees.

The two Muslim New Yorkers from Pakistan say they’ll resume selling kosher products by the end of the year.

“I just have to wait to finish my renovation and probably a month later, I’m going to bring a rabbi here to certify that it is a kosher item,” said Shah.

“Everybody’s happy,” Ali said. “I use the same ingredients, same machine, same employees.”

Customers are happy and relieved.

“No, I havent noticed a difference. Best bialys in Brooklyn,” Smith added.

“I love it, I’m here all the time, they take good care of me,” one woman told 1010 WINS’ Stan Brooks.

Former shop owner Steven Ross, who closed the shop in September because of the bad economy, has been advising the duo.

“People from Pennsylvania come here to get the bialys,” said customer Ray Duffy.

“We work hard, we hope with success, in this business,” Ali said.

Sound off in our comments section below…

  • Adeyinka O mcAdewunmi

    This is a nother example of facts of life.There is good and bad in all of us!

  • Meme Meyagi

    so mooslime terrorists buy a failed jewish business, and now all is rosy?

  • Scott

    Great story

  • tony

    manhattan no longer sells bialys, none of the iowans that live here ever heard of them, its really annoying

  • Liberals Are Evil

    Good to see people getting along! Keep up the good work guys because there are not too many good bagels out there.

  • Bklyn mom

    That’s awesome! They have good bagels.

  • NYCChica

    This is why I love NYC. Most of us here set the example of how to get along and live our lives next door to each other regardless of religion, race or creed. (Granted, there are few bad apples, but I’d like to think that for the most part we can be proud of our fellow New Yorkers.)

    • 123

      TOTALLY a NYC story. LOVE it & love my city.

      Did the large bagel store on the lower east side close too???? I haven’t been there in years, but remember getting fabulous bialys and onion board there! (Does anyone even remember what “onion board” is?).

      • Chris Schiavone

        This place sells them. They call them flats. Delicious! Check out their website.

        • jerry

          do you know where this bagel shop is in coney island

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