The Forward reports that Coney Island Bialys and Bagels, which purports to be the oldest bialy store in New York, will close its doors after 91 years in business.
Quite frankly, this news surprised me. I had always assumed that Kossar's on the Lower East Side was the city's oldest bialy store. But Coney Island Bialys says it began in 1920, and Kossar's opened in 1927. (Of courese, Kossar's still claims to be the oldest. Such is the way in New York City.)
Owner Stephen Ross blames the recession for the closure.
According to their website, "Coney Island Bialy Bakers Co., Inc. was started in 1920 by Grandpa Morris Rosenzweig. Grandpa Morris and his brothers immigrated to the United States from Bialystock, Poland, and brought with them their knowledge of a local soft yeast bread known as Bialystoker Kuchens. Kuchen is the German word for cake. The original business was started in a basement in Coney Island, and that is where the Coney Island Bialy Bakery was born. In 1954, Morris moved the bakery to 2359 Coney Island Avenue, Brooklyn, NY and opened the first retail bialy bakery." I would guess this is where Kossar's would make their claim, discounting the pushcart years as immaterial.
The business has been run by the same family for four generations.