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Follow-up: Temporary Solution to Yonah Schimmel Parking Woes

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Yonah Schimmel, 137 East Houston.

Here’s a follow-up on the situation at Yonah Schimmel, the century-old knishery at 137 East Houston Street.   Co-owner Ellen Anistratov told us the big East Houston Street reconstruction project has been devastating to her business, which is heavily reliant on customers driving to the store.  Now we hear the city has worked out a temporary solution.

As we reported yesterday, City Councilmember Margaret Chin’s office has been trying to help Yonah Schimmel and had been in contact with the Department of Transportation and the Department of Design and Construction, which is overseeing the street project. . A short time ago, her communications director, Kelly Magee, told us the city plans to establish two temporary 8 a.m.-6 p.m. “no parking” spaces on the east side of Forsyth, just a few feet from the shop’s Houston Street storefront.

It has never been legal to park in front of the shop, but customers have been doing it for many years.  The construction project, which has shut down two eastbound lanes of East Houston, put an end to this practice.   Presumably, Yonah Schimmel customers will be able to pull into the Forsyth Street spaces for a few moments without being ticketed.

The new “no parking” zone will likely be eliminated once the current phase of construction ends in 5-6 weeks.

Chin released a statement today, saying:

I want to thank DDC and DOT for finding a way to accommodate Yonah Schimmel’s customers. This solution is a temporary one, but it does reinstate the parking that was available  prior to the start of construction on East Houston. I look forward to working with both agencies to find a more permanent solution for Schimmel’s, and on the wider issue of mitigating the effect of construction on small business throughout lower Manhattan.


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  1. Visiting this place is like walking back in time to a different era. And not just in the store’s decor, which could come straight out of an episode of the Twilight Zone, but in the gruff people behind the counter who expect you to know what make one knish different from another. (They have at least four different kinds, maybe more).
    This is not a Disneyland recreation, but the real thing, which also makes a mean borscht (though you have to arrive early for that). In my estimation, Katz’s has gone too mainstream, with too high prices and too many tourists – not what I remember from when I was a kid when they had a barrel of hot sauerkraut near where they sold the hot dogs at $1.50 each. Although Katz’s still sells excellent sandwiches, that old place no long exists – but Schimmel does. The LES will lose big if such an authentic place goes out of business.

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