Famed Chocolatier Jacques Torres to Close UWS Store, But More Sweets are Coming


Jacques Torres himself serving customers at the store a few years ago. Photo by Michael.

The Jacques Torres chocolate store at 285 Amsterdam Avenue off of 74th Street will close at the end of February when its 15 year lease expires, the company tells us.

With its sumptuous hot chocolate and specialty chocolate treats, Jacques Torres gained a following in the neighborhood. “Jacques looks forward to welcoming UWS neighbors before,” the store closes, a spokesperseon wrote. “Jacques Torres Chocolate locations in Grand Central Terminal in Midtown and DUMBO in Brooklyn will remain open, and Jacques is excited to be working with other retailers such as Zabars and Citarella who are also carrying JTC products.”

A source with knowledge of the new lease deal for the space tells us that the tenant will be William Greenberg Desserts, a company that first opened in 1946 whose flagship bakery is on Madison Avenue. They apparently know a thing or two about Black & White cookies.

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FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 21 comments | permalink
    1. IVAN STOLER says:

      Greenberg has been in the neighboood before, at least once.

    2. George CPW says:

      Too bad losing a tenant like Torres. It’s not as though there are no vacant storefronts for Greenberg. I guess we will never know whether Torres’ landlord tried to retain him by giving him a break on rent, or not.

    3. david natoli says:

      In my opinion a real win for the neighborhood. Torres was fine but nothing too special in todays robust sweets scene, and there is something soulless about his various locations around the city. They feel tailor made for a suburban shopping mall experience.

      William Greenberg on the other hand, is an uptown institution since 1946 and has delicious products. Can’t wait to support them.

      • George CPW says:

        The Schnecken at Greenberg are the best. But even if Torres is less than perfect, it’s a shame to lose any stirs thes days with all the vacancies.

      • Irate Partisan says:

        Wrong!!!! Jacques Torres makes some of the best cookies in town. With JT going and Recolte gone, what do we have left? The gimmicky and foul Levain? Sigh…

    4. Jay says:

      The chocolate there (except the hot chocolate and chocolate covered almonds) is over-rated, good not excellent.

      Good cookies, better than Levain.

      Not very good espresso.

    5. js says:

      Epices – excellent bakery on 70th betweem Columbus and Broadway (former Soutine space)

      terrific baguettes, napoleons, sable cookies and more

    6. Victoria says:

      This is a loss. And Wm Greenberg is no concession prize. The last time they tried expanding to the UWS their service was atrocious and they folded almost immediately.

      • JRo says:

        That store (on Broadway near 78th) actually stuck around a long time. I was never a fan of their baked goods, but many are. We have so many bakeries in the ‘hood, mostly very good, so this is kind of underwhelming news.

    7. LivableCity says:

      Very sad to hear JTorres will be going! Love their chocolates, and the bark and cookies are amazing. Loved that they are local and a real “choose your own” fresh chocolatier with excellent flavors and ingredients, but not as pretentious as some more rarified shops. I always enjoyed selecting gifts for people there, from simple to fancy, you knew they would be a treat.

    8. Carlos says:

      Not a huge fan of Jacques Torres but the tourists seemed to like it for a double header with Levain, and I support having occupied store fronts.

      Greenberg has great cakes. I haven’t had them in years but my family had them for some milestone celebrations in the 80s. I still remember how good they were. Hopefully they will be in before my birthday in the spring!

      • Ken says:

        Good Lord: “Greenberg has great cakes. I haven’t had them in years but my family had them for some milestone celebrations in the 80s.” Happy to know that 40 years ago you enjoyed a Greenberg cake! What a great frickin’ recommendation!

        • Carmella Ombrella says:

          The original Mr. Greenberg was an artist. I used to watch him through the window of his Third Avenue shop as he decorated cakes late into the night. They were so beautiful you hated to cut into them but when you did you were transported to pastry heaven. That was a couple of decades ago. More recently I bought a birthday cake and some cookies from the Greenberg shop on Madison Avenue (which I later learned is no longer owned by the Greenberg family); both were dull in appearance and bland in taste. Service was sullen to the point of rudeness. I can only hope that the new UWS will be an improvement.

    9. Jose Habib says:

      Great chocolate but it kind of makes sense not to rent a whole store if you can just sell them in Citarella and Zabar’s.

    10. GEdwardNYC says:

      Rumor has it he owes months and months of rent. Laughed at landlord. I remember Greenberg bakery when here years ago. Hope better this time.

    11. NewYorkerUWS says:

      Sorry that Jacques Torres will close; enjoyed going to that store.

    12. Esmerelda says:

      Sad news about Torres.
      Greenberg’s is not what they used to be and
      are quite expensive.
      No big win either way.

    13. Grand Central has been closed as well.

    14. Bonnie says:

      I’m so sorry to hear this! I’ll miss that hot chocolate. ☹️