Kossar's Bialys, the classic Grand Street bakery and one of the last remaining vestiges of the old Lower East Side, must be experiencing a panic attack of something.
They keep changing their signage. Perhaps it's an attempt to appear more modern—a reaction to the flurry of closures of longstanding LES landmarks like Gertel's Bakery. But the result hasn't been a happy one.
For the longest time, the bare-bones store bore a white, translucent, plastic sign with red letters reading "Kossar's Hot Bialys." That's it below (sorry about the numbers; the shot is from the Kossar's website). It wasn't exactly pretty, but it was bold and did the job, and it was right for its neighborhood. So were the two circular neon signs saying "Hot Onion Bialies." Sometime in 2006, they replaced the sign with a crisp brown awning with Kossar's spelled out in graceful letters. It was stylish and suburban-looking; it wasn't Kossar's.
But it was preferable to this! When did this happen?! Jesus H. Christ, what a God-awful, ugly sign. Green and yellow? Bubble letters casting shadows? It's about as corny and tacky as you can get. And no sign of the old neon circles that I can see. A sad day for signage all around. At least the interior is still pretty much what it always was: a factory where bialys are made.