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Nov 5, 2008 10:58 AM


I would really like to go, but am slightly apprehensive given all I have read and heard about how fickle the Shopsin's can be about who they serve. They seem to like regulars but we are tourists and would only be going once.
Is it really as difficult as I have heard, to be allowed to stay? I am aware of the 'rules' and we are generally quite amiable, not loud or obnoxious or demanding. I have a fear of being thrown out. Guess I have taken 'eat me' and 'I like killing flies' too much to heart!
I have researched the menu and would really like to try the sliders amongst other things..

Myth? or fact?

Shopsin's General Store
120 Essex St, New York, NY 10002

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  1. Myth. Just go, sit down wherever you want, and enjoy. I actually had the sliders the other day and they were great. Have fun. Remember, Shopsin's is still in business to make money. They can't turn away all the customers they don't like or they wouldn't be able to pay rent. This is especially true in this challenging economic environment. The prices are on the high side for American comfort food so don't be concerned about acting the right way. They'll be happy to have you...

    1. rekha, i used to live right across the street from the old location of shopsins and eat there semi-frequently without incident. i knew shopsin is a bit grouchy at times and he has a dirty mouth, but i never really knew the extent of the cultish allure or the stories about shopsin's bad temper until chowhound and calvin trillin's new yorker article.

      just take it for what it is: a decent diner serving interesting, off the beaten path versions of comfort food, owned by a normalish man who is sometimes very grouchy and sometimes very nice like other normalish people (unless he's gotten a lot worse with fame and notoriety). he does have a dirtier than average mouth -- but i guess i find that more endearing than anthing. ;)

      3 Replies
      1. re: cimui

        Ditto. I've never had a problem. Just I go in with an open mind (don't be scandalized if Kenny comes out and drops the f-bomb a few times after arguing with one of his daughters), no allergies, no special requests, no entree modifications. His daughters and sons are quite nice people! Kenny....he's cranky but loveable. Although given the publicity they've gotten recently, I wouldn't be surprised if a few newbies have been wearing him down.

          1. re: chocolatebirthdaycake

            I don't think they do food to go.. I think I will just go and see what happens, the allure of the sliders and a chocolate malted milkshake is proving too strong! Thanks for the advice.

        1. re: spankyhorowitz

          Essex Street Market. Next to Saxelby's Cheese. Note that the market is closed on Sundays.

            1. re: kathryn

              Their site you linked to shows Sunday hours of 10-3.

              1. re: NuMystic

                This thread is from 2008, the hours changed! :)

                1. re: kathryn

                  Hi Kathryn and co.! You guys seem to be brunch gurus so I was wondering if you have a guess as to wait time for brunch for 2 on a Sunday at 12 pm at Shopsin's?

                  Thanks so much!

                  1. re: inkydinky

                    It might be 1-1.5 hours before you sit, and it takes the food a while to come out after you order too, as they are usually slammed on weekends. They only have three tables for two, and thee counter stools. They cut the line off at 1:45pm.

                    Note: they don't take down names, people stand in line waiting. Every once in a while the server comes back to check on the line.

                    1. re: kathryn

                      thanks kathryn ... wait sounds long and stringent. sigh.

            1. There have always been remarks made about hygiene at Shopsin's. Kenny was preparing something on Letterman recently and he did something that Dave made fun of as being less than hygienic and Kenny said, "hey, I washed my hands!", which I thought might have been defensiveness about the issue. Things are not spanking clean, but, if you have a sense of humour, you probably can get by a glass being a little filmy or a general shabbiness that you have to wonder whether it continues in the kitchen clean-up methods. I don't find the place to be a model of spotlessness, shall we say...