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Jun 18, 2012 02:32 PM

The Current Oldest Continuously Operating Kosher Restaurant In NYC

With the recent closing of the KD in Manhattan, I was again wondering something. I don't have the answer or know if it is possible to find out the answer. I am just curious as to people's thoughts.

What is currently the oldest, continuously operating kosher restaurant in the 5 boroughs of New York City? Here are my arbitrary conditions to this question: 1) It has to have always had a certification (any certification). 2) Same owner (including same family) but different locations is fine. 3) Different owner and same location is also fine. In my view, if the restaurant moved because a different owner bought it then it is not the same restaurant. Again, this is just my view.

For example, 2nd Avenue Deli would have been a candidate before it closed in early 2006. Since it did close at one point, it has not been continuously operating.

What are the candidates? KD on Avenue J? Mr. Broadway?

Thank you.

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  1. Fine & Schapiro on 72nd street.

    15 Replies
    1. re: DeisCane

      Fine & Shapiro is under hechsher? I'm surprised, because I once went by and there wasn't a teudah visible, then I asked someone from the restaurant and he didn't know, so I just assumed it was not. It had been recommended to me by a local, but not one with an especially strong kashrus background.

      OK, I went to the web site, and they are indeed under hashgacha. Also, open 7 days/week (at least, they make a different soup each of the 7 days- couldn't actually find the open and closed times on the site)

      1. re: ganeden

        Yes they are definitely under hashgaha, and also open 7 days a week. I walk past there frequently and have always seen a certificate in their window...

          1. re: The Cameraman

            Koshertopia says they're with the Cup-K (aka Rabbi Israel Mayer Steinberg).

            1. re: GilaB

              I am streching my memory but my recollection is that F & S did not always have certification.

              For Manhattan restaurants, I think the answer is Mr. Broadway (1985).

              1. re: Kosher Critic

                It's certainly possible. It opened in the 20s, when certification wasn't quite as formalized as it is now. For as far as I remember--not that long(!), since the mid 90s--it's had some certification.

                1. re: DeisCane

                  Agreed that certification wasn't quite as formalized then. If F & S has always been considered as having certification then it is the clear winner. 1927!

                  It would be interesting to think what else is in the top 5.

                  Kossar's Bialys on the LES, Gottlieb's in Brooklyn, KD in Brooklyn and Amnon's Pizza could possibly be in the top 5 and certainly in the top 10.

                  1. re: kosherchow

                    I believe that both J2 on Ave M and Shang Chai on Flatbush Avenue predate the Ave J KD.

                    1. re: Moach018

                      I seem to recall that the Ave J KD opened when I was in high school so that would put it somewhere around 1980, give or take a year in either direction. I remember going to Shang Chai when I was younger than that. No idea about anything on Ave. M, though.

                      1. re: rockycat

                        I agree with your estimations. Ave M J 2 is of the same vintage. I remember it being around in the early 80's or even possibly in the 70's

                  2. re: DeisCane

                    We grew up eating at F&S at least once a month as we had many relatives in the neighborhood (in he 50s and 60s). This past weekend I was visiting my mother and her brother-in-law was there. Uncle grew up on the west side in the low 70s. He told me that his Bar Mitzvah luncheon was catered by F&S and my mother chimed in that F&S catered my parents wedding at the Riverside Plaza Hotel on West 73rd Street in 1944. Seems they were under the supervision of the rabbi at my uncle's shul, who also performed my parent's wedding. Mom said F&S was the only kosher establishment they could get in Manhattan that could supply enough kosher meat product during WWII without my grandparents having to buy ration points on the black market. According to mom, it was expected that each wedding guest include 2 'red point' ration tokens with their reply card so the caterer could get supplies. F&S fronted the points until the reception was over, at which time my grandfather paid the bill and turned over the ration tokens. Mom said the whole family went without meat for 6 months before the wedding so they could accumulate ration points for feeding the out of town guests the week of the wedding.
                    Mom is 90 aqnd losing it, she might not know what she ate for breakfast today, but memories of her wedding time 68 years ago are quite clear.

                    1. re: bagelman01

                      Thanks for sharing, bagelman. Great story.

          2. re: DeisCane

            The Fine family (I'm a distant relation) sold the restaurant back in the 80's or 90's.

            1. re: southernitalian

              But it's still in the same location, right?

          3. Alas you must define "restaurant". Does a bakery count? If so, perhaps Kossar's Bialys?

            2 Replies
            1. re: PotatoPuff

              I would count bakeries. Kossar's Bialys is a good possibility, I wonder when it opened.

              1. re: kosherchow

                If you count bakeries, Moishe's on Second Avenue was previously Ratner's Bakery, and was kosher though it was not shomer Shabbos and not supervised. Since the early 70s it has been under the current ownership and was a kosher bakery since the 20s. On 13th Avenue and 48th street is a little old deli which is now glatt but was previously just traditionally kosher and it has been there since the 50s. On 37th Street in Manhattan is Ben's which was previously Lou G Siegel, a continuosly operating kosher restaurant since the 20s

            2. KD closed????? WHAT?????????

              1. Does anyone know how long Amnon's Pizza in Boro Park is open?

                1 Reply
                1. re: The Cameraman

                  Don't know exactly - but for many years. It's definitely in the running.

                2. Abigael's has been around for a long time, is it a possible contender?
                  Also, since the Midwood location of KD is still operating, doesn't it still qualify?