72nd Street Bagel, which has been around for more than a decade at 130 72nd Street between Columbus and Broadway, is closing on Christmas, according to a manager and an employee at the store. The owner had told our tipster about the closure, and blamed a rent increase.

Manager Rahat Ali said the shop is closing because its lease is up and the landlord is not renewing it, because he is opening a new kosher restaurant himself in the space in February.

“Thanks for your concern everyone,” Ali said. “After 14 years, we’re very sorry, too, but we have no choice.”

There is some good news: Ali said all the employees have jobs lined up, beginning when 72nd Street Bagel closes on Christmas. And the owner is looking for a new location in the neighborhood. Still, it’s a sad day in Mudville. As Upper West Sider Adam Goldstein put it:

“Two staples of 72nd Street will no longer be around for our family, first City Pie and now 72nd Street Bagel…If Grey’s Papaya ever leaves, the world is definitely coming to an end.”

“I am so upset!” our tipster added. “I always get coffee and bagels for the office there and the guy who runs it and all the guys who work there are so nice. In fact the owner is the one who told me and he looked heartbroken.”

The shop, which made fresh bagels and had long lines on weekends, is a favorite of New York Times food reviewer (and now columnist) Frank Bruni.

Photo by Carol Tannenhauser.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 48 comments | permalink
    1. Ish Kabibble says:

      Service was horrible there. Slowest moving people on the planet! With Zuckers opening in the next day or so, their days were likely numbered anyway.

    2. Sherman says:


      I’m there almost every weekend. I’ve been taking my son there since he was a baby. He loves this place.

    3. Ray says:

      Is the new Zuckers bagels too much competition?? Too close for 2 bagel spots, one should move into the 60’s!! We need more places between 58th and 70th!!

    4. Frank says:

      Post the name and phone number of the landlord.

    5. WombatNYC says:

      Dirty place. Excited for Zuckers

    6. Emily says:

      Terrible news!

      Love 72nd Street Bagel. Definitely the best bagel in the neighborhood.

    7. LifelongUWSider says:

      Whyyy?! Why do all the places I like have to close? 72 Street Bagel DESERVES A NEW HOME!!!

    8. UWSHebrew says:

      Terrific bagels from 72nd, especially when they were fresh. A shame. I’ll take the so-so service and dusty floors over the “hipster-friendly”, spotless, recently opened bagel spot that shall remain nameless that has lousy bagels and is all about “hype” that “they’re back” after an absence (emperor’s new clothes).

    9. Joan N Petrokofsky says:

      We are going to be living in a ghost town if these realtors don’t stop being so damn greedy!

    10. Denton says:

      Bagles were good but service was a joke. Never went back after the second time I was treated rudely.

    11. Jessica says:

      This is so sad! A 72nd street institution!

    12. Ethan says:

      Just next door to the recently gone dark Lime Leaf restaurant, a portion of which is observable in the photo, above. The rate at which my old haunts are closing is accelerating; I have to find new haunts with increasing frequency. Sooner or later something’s gotta give.

    13. the_the says:

      Why is the current tenant blaming a rent increase? It says right in the article that the owner wants to open his own kosher restaurant.

      Maybe having his own restaurant is the owner’s dream and the reason he purchased the property. Perhaps the owner feels the same as many of the commenters on this page – the place had a rude attitude towards customers – and didn’t want to be associated with them anymore.

      I know its fashionable on the UWS to blame every store closing (good and bad) on a rent increase and the black hatted greedy landlord but that doesn’t seem to be the case here.

    14. James says:

      This place was a dump. Not every business is worth the “there goes the neighborhood wa wa” treatment.

      It’s a pretty large location so maybe something good can open in its stead.

      • 10023 Observer says:

        Good bagels and are/were kosher, for those who keep kosher. Bagels at Zuckers will also be $1.25 per, but are not kosher. Yes, rents are rising and thankfully, life goes on. Surprised how many seem to be pining for the “good ‘ole” days of higher crime and junkies in Needle Park.

    15. Eileen says:

      wow. Though I’m a 3 year newcomer from the
      ues, I always on my way to work for these delicious bagels at this cozy spot. Will miss this place

    16. MJ says:

      What I don’t get is what these landlords raise rents and then get stuck with empty properties. How do they make money that way? There are so many empty storefronts on the UWS right now. What good does that do anybody?

    17. That Guy says:

      Dirty store and terrible, slow service. I won’t miss it.

    18. jor says:

      Who needs bagels or mom-n-pop bagel shops when what the new UWSiders want are Whole Foods &8 chopped cheese at Whole Foods.

    19. Alex says:

      I don’t know how you guys saying it was kosher. I didn’t see not even one person who work there is Jewish. They all Muslim working , I was surprise , how they still kept kosher certificate. They were open on saturdays. They were close only on Passover.

      • Phoebe says:

        El may oh
        Since Drumph, nothing makes sense anymore.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Alex — don’t comment on issues you have no knowledge about, in this case, “kosher”. Muslims can work in a kosher store, one has nothing to do with the other. Same goes for open on Saturday, to a lesser degree of kosher-certification, that is. Stick to commenting on Christmas ham.

        • Jerry says:

          To Alex and UWS Hebrew – Some believe that if a business is open on the Jewish sabbath, that this establishment is really not kosher, since one is not supposed to work on the sabbath.

          Maybe both of you should not be commenting on something you don’t know about…

          • cromulent says:

            I’m not certain they still do this, but Kossar’s on the LES used to ‘sell’ the business to an employee so the store could remain open on Saturday and then ‘buy’ it back the next day.

          • UWSHebrew says:

            Hey Jerry, can you read? “Same goes for open on Saturday, to a lesser degree of kosher-certification”. LESSER DEGREE.

          • OhHonestly says:

            No, Jews are forbidden from working on Shabbat.

            If the employees and owners aren’t Jewish, there’s no problem with it being kosher.

    20. andrew says:

      Service sucked. Refused to go there after the second time anymore. Twice I stood at the counter waiting for someone to take my order only to be given rude stares by the employees who were literally just trying to look busy. Bagels were alright but service like that kept me away for many years. Happy to see a new place open with hopefully better service.

      • Boopsie says:

        That was exactly my impression. Surly and obnoxious “I-can’t-really-be-bothered-taking-your-order” attitude from the cashier and guys behind the counter “trying” to look busy.

        Bagels were only serviceable and the salads and cream-cheese varieties looked weeks old and unappetizing.

        No loss. Now, if Fine & Shapiro closed, THAT would upset me.

        • UWSHebrew says:

          I had a lousy steak from Fine & Shapiro the one time I ordered it, so never again. Their pastrami is excellent however, really top notch. I like the sarcastic counter guys there too.

          • mark deletorre says:

            Fine and Shapiro, love the food. love the counter guys but the place has the most depressing atmosphere of all time.

    21. Karen says:

      I am for Toronto, and always stop there for breakfast, when we visit NYC. So sad, good luck to all the employees. Thanks for the memories!

    22. Patrick says:

      This is the only bagel place I’ve eaten at in my four years on the UWS.. Having said that I’m shocked it’s only been open for 14 years as it was a total dump!

      • Helen says:

        I’ve been on the UWS almost 4 years and went there a few times and the bagels were good. Never had a problem with the staff but I got sick twice from the deli food. Switched over to Fine and Shapiro after I went in by mistake (same block), and I’m not sure if they’re known for their bagels but the rest of the food is really good. The place looks old but the service is quick and the staff is friendly.

    23. Business owner says:

      72nd street is awful. So, what does the local Business Improvement District do? Does anyone know? What does the City alleged small business division do? Good luck getting a return phone call from http://www.nyc.gov/html/sbs/html/about/sbsleadership.shtml Neighborhood Development Divison is a joke.

    24. Tim Seymour says:

      Save our city from commercial landlords run amuck. We are losing the soul of NYC daily. If I wanted to live in Westchester I would have moved there ten years ago.

    25. AY says:

      Devastating. Can’t believe landlords are pushing everyone out to make room for yet more banks and Duane Reades. I just hope the UWS doesn’t lose it’s charm because of it. (PS. Didn’t I read that commercial rents are way down? I can’t wait til the landlords come running back to everyone they’re pushing out).

    26. adam says:

      can’t say I’m sad about this.

      This was a filthy bagel store with marginal service. I once got a bagel with hairs baked into it. gross

      To many better options now. They shouldn’t bother returning

    27. Sean says:

      What a dump!

    28. JAL1169 says:

      What a loss. Freshly baked real bagels, and the service was always friendly and efficient. One of the bagel guys always had my “usual” a sesame bagel with vegetable cream cheese ready when he saw me come in. I am heartbroken!