A staple of the Upper West Side identity, H&H Bagels, has closed. On Tuesday, it shuttered its doors after almost forty years.
Stunning. But not entirely.
While the closure of many a New York institution either has to do with skyrocketing rents (i.e. CBGBs), or declining patronage (i.e. Elaine's), the closure of H&H has less do with either than the fact that the owner was a crook who grossly mismanaged the store's finances. It went bankrupt and closed not because it didn't have loyal customers but because it had a disloyal boss. Also, the store got a little too big for its britches: they wouldn't toast their bagels for customers and, every time I went there, they treated us with contempt. Granted, their bagels were very, very good -- but not their attitude or their management. So its demise couldn't be helped.
Still, it's a lost part of the New York alloy, and it will be missed.