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Shopsin's

  • m

I haven't read it yet but Calvin Trillin has a piece on Shopsin's in the latest New Yorker.

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    1. re: layla
      s
      Stephanie L.

      Thanks for posting the link. So Shopsin's is closing?? Hmm...wonder where that "awful block" is he's thinking of moving to.

      1. re: Stephanie L.

        I hope it's not a huge secret, but I've heard about this place for years and never knew where it was. Can anyone divuldge? Would love to experience it before it closes. Thanks.

        1. re: buzzika
          j
          JessicaSophia

          It's on 63 Bedford at Morton St. Phone 924-5160. Mr. Trillin's article makes it sound like a scary experience. It isn't as bad as he says, or at least not in my experience. I love that you serve yourself coffee! In my opinion, every restaurant should do that.

          1. re: JessicaSophia

            I had a friend who called once because she was lost and couldn't find it to meet me for lunch. She called and asked "Where are you located?" And Kenny answered "by the telephone!" and he slammed it down.

            1. re: chowbabe
              j
              JessicaSophia

              That's hilarious. I called for directions, and he gave them to me without incident (first asking if I wanted the "scenic route"). But then I asked if the restaurant was crowded. His reply: "There's plenty of room in the kitchen!"

              1. re: JessicaSophia

                Guess you got him on a good day!

                1. re: chowbabe
                  c
                  Connie Crothers

                  He's like the owner of Melampo's or the owner of Claude's. So what? The food is great. The personality is old New York City real.

    2. I walked by it on Friday morning, and who was sitting in the window and eating breakfast, but Ruth Reichl! I wonder how Kenny & Eve received her?

      1. j
        JessicaSophia

        Wow, I'm so sad if it's closing. I have been dying to go there since I read about it here back in like November. I finally went on Sunday morning. I can't say I liked the atmopshere (a little chaotic for morning, and the daughter's voice is positively ear-splitting), but the food was excellent.

        Hey, what's the deal with the candy? Can you just take a piece, or do you pay for it?

        3 Replies
        1. re: JessicaSophia

          The article made it sound like the candy is free. What are Shopsin's hours? Are they open for dinner every day? And then one brunch on the weekend?

          Akiko

          1. re: Akiko

            A piece of candy is free with your meal.

            On weekdays they are open from around 8 AM until 3 PM (breakfast merges into lunch around 11:30 or so), and from 6 to 8 PM for dinner. Sundays they are open from 10:00 AM until either 2 or 3 PM, I forget which. Keep in mind that none of these times are written in stone; Kenny will often close the place if a line starts forming outside (or simply if he feels like it).

            The atmosphere at breakfast is MUCH calmer on weekdays.

          2. re: JessicaSophia

            The candy is free, but if you are a first timer, wait for Eve to invite you to choose one. There are some real blasts from the past in the choices--like Fun Dip. Remember that?

          3. It's a very good article, and it explains perfectly why I never recommend this place to someone I don't know. I've seen too many people stomp out in a huff after being told they can't just sit and have a cup of coffee, or occupy a booth alone, or bring in a party of five or six, or because the staff didn't bend over backwards to accomodate them. It's my main hangout, but I've never initiated discussion of it on this site because I don't think it's fair to send people there when I have no idea if they are the type who would appreciate its unique atmosphere.

            The only thing that I feel the article was a little off on was the reception given to first-time customers. It's really not that scary. If you go in with a friendly and flexible attitude, you will (usually) be welcomed. Go in with a demanding attitude, and it won't be pretty. My own mother was a casualty the first time she ventured in. She failed to return Kenny's greeting as she entered (she's not rude, just a little oblivious), and she just wanted a cup of coffee and dessert. She was told "no" very brusquely, and left angrily. She tried again after I briefed her on the rules, and everything was fine. She now gets along great with Kenny & Eve.

            As I've said on this board before, you have to roll with the punches. It is a fun place, a real community, and the food is GREAT.

            1 Reply
            1. re: Cloudy

              I agree. Contrary to the impression of the article, I have always found it a friendly, welcoming place (and I doubt they recognize me as any sort of regular)--it just has these quirks and "rules." I just consider it part of the game, and enjoy playing along. I suppose it depends on your definition of friendliness.

              But it is sad they have to move--the current corner is so much a part of the experience.

            2. My friend and I had breakfast at Shopsin's when we were visiting in October. It was great! We both loved it and I don't remember finding it intimidating at all. It probably helped that we had heard nothing of the reputation mentioned in the article and that we went on a weekday morning. We got to have a booth to ourselves and a nice, lesiurely meal while reading the paper.
              I'm sorry that they have to move from that space.