By Joy Bergmann
My Most Favorite Food, a kosher restaurant-bakery-caterer that’s served the Upper West Side for over 40 years, is closing operations at 247 W. 72nd Street, according to posters in its windows and a telephone conversation with Diane, an employee.
“The renewal of the lease with the landlord suddenly fell through,” she said.
Effective immediately, the restaurant will no longer serve meals. Next week the bakery will be open if customers would like to pick up some of their most favorite challahs, cookies, cakes and specialty desserts as well as bid farewell to the staff, Diane said.
After that, all doors will close but the company will offer bakery items for catering and delivery. To place orders, call 212-580-5130 or order online.
Diane is optimistic about reviving the restaurant at a new location. “Hopefully we will have a new life and not be gone-gone-gone,” she said. “We will come back with a bang.”
I would think landlords wpuld work really hard to keep a place open
Crazy it is closing. I hope they find a new location
Am I delusional in remembering there used to be a Judaica store across the street?
There was a Judaica store on the south-west side of 72nd Street, a few steps off Broadway. It was on the second floor. I don’t remember the exact address.
Usually when this happens like with the ramen spot last month, the landlord already received a better offer from another tenant. It won’t stay vacant for very long. Sad for the neighborhood though. It is losing a treasure.
I hope the new tenant gets rid of the protruding seating area that blocks the sidewalk. I live on that street and this is a major inconvenience. Overpriced so won’t be missed.
good so I wasn’t the only one
This place had the worst food and service. One year I
returned everything I bought at Passover as it was stale
and to my surprise there were other people doing just the same. Overpriced and ordinary. Fairway has better kosher cake these days. Use World of Chantilty if you want great kosher cake, pastries, breads and more.
But they’re in Brooklyn. Unless you’re placing a big order and are willing to pay for delivery, how does that help upper west siders? Jersey has good kosher bakeries too but they are also not practical for the average person.
Are you comparing their prices to other kosher restaurants or other cafes?
This site was also Dougie’s BBQ some years ago and before that a Vietnamese place, I think Van West. IDK what a landlord expects to get for a sidestreet location in a residential area now, especially with all the similarly-large vacancies on Broadway, Amsterdam and Columbus.
I thought Dougie’s BBQ was across the street, on the north side of 72nd. The particular piece of real estate that My Most Favorite Food presently sits on can command a lot of rent because of its layout and beautiful backroom with a big skylight. The bakery part of the restaurant is separate from the eating areas, and the enclosed glass terrace is another plus.
No, Dougie’s was on the south side. If I am not mistaken, and I might be, it used to be Famous Dairy, a wonderful Kosher restaurant with spectacular cheese blintzes
This was the north side. BTW, wasn’t there an Empire Szechuan at this spot for a while? I remember that one for its superior cold noodles in sesame sauce.
You’re right — my mistake. I meant Dougie’s BBQ was on the south side of 72nd. Yes, years back there was a Chinese restaurant in the same spot as My Favorite Food, which used to be My Favorite Dessert Company, on Madison Avenue, though it always had more than desserts on the menu. I don’t remember My Favorite Food serving the West Side for 40 years though it’s stated as such in the article; maybe the business itself has been around for that period of time.
I wonder if they’ll have better luck on Columbus in the 90s. There seems to be a sizable orthodox population there. I wish them luck.
There’s certainly plenty of empty real estate on that stretch of Columbus north of 86th. I was sad to see that the big hardware store, which was recently taken over by a youngish couple, is gone, as is the attached lumber shop and the nearby 7-11. A good restaurant, kosher or otherwise, would help enliven the area.
Clearly, commercial rent control is needed. The UWS has lost almost all of it’s essential character because we don’t have that. .
Yes agreed. The UWS is a wasteland of empty stores. Nothing to see, nothing to buy. Spaces stay empty for years. Gracious Home and Food Emporium are sorely missed. Depressing dirty neighborhood. C21, Price Wise, West Side Market, never to be seen here again. A neighborhood we once enjoyed is useless now. We envy the UES where you can find everything within a few blocks on all the avenues. Small shops have reopened there. What a pleasure it was to live here when the old Fairway existed and that street wasn’t filthy and we could window shop and actually feel comfortable not afraid to walk around after dark. We all see what’s happened and we know the only answer is its time to move.
Rent control – artificially calling the market shots – is rarely a good idea commercially (also elsewhere but we are talking about commerce space). If landlords want more than the market can bear they don’t get tenants and the prices go down. If they get store tenants who find they have to charge too much to make rent they can’t keep the store tenants the minute the lease is up. There are plenty of open spots that will take this store ina heartbeat. Landlords are free to be foolish just like the rest of us. Smart proprietors keep good tenants.
There WAS a Judaica store acrossthe street, & it also, uniquely hosted a small, Kosher restaurant. The restaurant was wonderful as was the ambience! Very much missed!
Why does everyone blame the Landlords.
How about a restaurant got lazy, didn’t strive to excell anymore and couldn’t keep up with the market. Perhaps they were greedy and wouldn’t pay the landlord a fair rent.
Open your eye La people. It takes two people to have “match’
I have lived on that block for many years, so to clarify: My Most Favorite Food is a Kosher dairy/vegetarian restaurant on the north side of the street. That same site was previously occupied by Dougie’s, a Kosher BBQ restaurant that moved there several years before from their original site on the south side of that same block. Dougie’s was very popular and crowded with Kosher students & young adults. The closed Empire Szechuan was not on that site, but right next door to the left where there is now a Japanese restaurant. There was indeed, for a few years, a very nice Judaica store with a small cafe in the back on the south side of the block near Fischer Bros. Kosher Butchers, which has been there for as long as anyone can remember. And when I first moved in, there was a Kosher dairy restaurant called, I think, Essen West which is long-gone. So this block has historically been an UWS Jewish and Kosher center for a very long time. Let’s hope it continues that tradition.
The Famous Dairy Restaurant at 222 West 72nd Street served traditional Jewish food and was a favorite haunt of writer Isaac Bashevis Singer.
Does anyone know what year it closed for good (or rather, for worse)?
Yes, Famous Dairy is what I was thinking of, not Essen West. It was the UWS version of Lower East Side’s Ratner’s with the best blintzes and soups. Closed in the late 80’s I think. I found this WSR Throwback on their website:
I still remember when Mendy’s was on 72nd. But my favorite was China Shalom on Columbus. With the demise of Gan Asia, is there anywhere to get Kosher Chinese on the UWS today?
Gan Asia still exists but under the name WestSide Wok. Ok, maybe not the same owners but it’s been there for years and has most of the same dishes.
It’s a lot more profitable to just “deliver” than to have to pay per square foot for seating.