NEW YORK (CBSNewYork/AP) — The home of Brooklyn’s most famous cheesecake is not for sale after all.
The owner of Junior’s Restaurant has decided not to sell the building that houses the restaurant.
“Yeah a lot of people have said you could cash out and get out, but you know, we love this business,” Alan Rosen told CBS 2’s John Slattery.
Rosen said he has had a change of heart and has taken the two-story building in downtown Brooklyn off the market.
“After much soul searching, I have come to the realization that you can’t sell something that you truly love and has been a part of your family’s legacy for 64 years. Our commitment to our employees, our guests and the Brooklyn community is stronger than ever,” Rosen said in a statement. “We intend to be here for another 64 years and beyond!”
Junior’s is a family-owned business now in its third generation. It opened its Brooklyn site in 1950.
Rosen said he realizes the restaurant is not only important to his family, but also to the community.
“People come in and tell you stories that they came there when they got engaged, or when they went on their first date, or when they graduated from high school,” Rosen told 1010 WINS. “You realize that there’s more to it than just a restaurant.”
The property at the corner of Flatbush and DeKalb avenues went on the market in February. Offers to buy and build an apartment tower poured in. They included a $45 million offer but it didn’t accommodate a ground-floor Junior’s.
Rosen said he considered everyone when making his decision to stay.
“We also have lots of long-term employees here who figured into my decision cause one of our options was to go away and come back, even the idea of closing Junior’s for even two years was too much for us to take,” Rosen said.
He said that by staying open, the restaurant will continue to employ 175 people.
Waiter Peter Tyson has worked at the restaurant for 30 years.
“I think it’s a great thing; great for Brooklyn,” he said.
One customer told Slattery he’s dined at Junior’s for 45 years, five days a week.
Customer Willie Scott, who has been coming to Junior’s for 15 years, applauded the decision of turning down $45 million.
“He said, ‘No thank you.’ That’s who he is. He’s about Brooklyn. He’s about Junior’s, period,” he said.
Junior’s also has locations in Times Square and Grand Central.
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