It’s been the talk of Grand Street for the past week or so — now the word is out. Kossar’s Bialys, the legendary Lower East Side bakery, has been sold.
Juda Engelmayer and Danny Cohen have owned Kossar’s since 1998. As the website More Travelers reports, they have sold the business to Marc Halprin and Evan Giniger. In 2011, Giniger was behind an attempt to save H&H Bagels on the Upper West Side.
A couple of days ago, Giniger told us the deal would be finalized today. The Seward Park Co-op, Kossar’s landlord, also signed off on the ownership change recently. Frank Durant, Seward Park’s general manager, told us the board was impressed with Giniger and Halprin’s commitment to building up the business on the Lower East Side for the long term.
Additional details from More Travelers:
Both Giniger and Halprin have been in the food business as entrepreneurs. Learning the ropes at the flour-filled bakery earlier this evening, Giniger, a well-dressed gentleman, said he previously owned the American arm of Australian Home Made Ice Cream. Halprin, a 30-something guy in Bermuda shorts and a baseball-style cap, said he owned an independent distribution company that specialized in bagels and baked goods, and describes himself on LinkedIn as a strategist and ’emerging trend spotter.’ … “We are excited to be taking the reins of this iconic and treasured brand,” said Halprin. ”Our goal is to honor the past while making some improvements where needed.” While neither would say what those improvements will be, odds are that the changes will attract even more tourists to the Lower East Side institution. “These guys are good guys,” gushed Juda Engelmayer earlier in the day during a phone interview. “They even said they would honor the legacy of giving my mom, who still lives in the neighborhood, free bialys.”
Giniger told us he and Halprin would be prepared to talk about their plans for Kossar’s in the next couple of weeks. Kossar’s has been on the Lower East Side for almost 80 years.