Kossar’s Will Remain Kosher, Even With Saturday Hours

It’s open Saturdays, but is it still kosher? That’s the question asked by several readers following our recent item on Kossar’s Bialys.

Kossar's Bialys, 367 Grand St.

Kossar’s Bialys, 367 Grand St.

The quick answer is “yes.”  This afternoon, we spoke with David Zablocki, who’s one of three guys who acquired the legendary Lower East Side business earlier this year.  He told us that Rabbi Shmuel Fishelis will allow Kossar’s to keep its hechsher (kosher certification).  Fishelis, who has maintained rabbinical supervision of the bakery for many years, instructed the two Jewish owners — Marc Halprin and Evan Giniger — to temporarily transfer their ownership shares to Zablocki, a non-Jew, each Shabbos.  In this way, the rabbi confirmed in a conversation with The Lo-Down a short time ago,  Kossar’s is able to meet its business needs while adhering to Jewish law.  On Saturday evening at sundown, a fresh batch of bialys is baked for observant Jewish customers.

Zablocki said the ownership team is committed to honoring the traditions at Kossar’s, while making sure that the business is able to thrive in the years ahead. “We hope the observant community understands that,” he said.  On another topic, he acknowledged that some renovations are being planned over Passover this coming spring, when Kossar’s is closed.  The team is not ready to talk specifics now but Zablocki said it’s clear the Grand Street storefront “needs a little love.”  Right now you can buy all the bialy you like — but you can’t get a schmear!  That could change in 2014, although no promises are being made as of yet.