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Gertel’s Last Stand

After 90 years, a Lower East Side institution shuts its doors

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Gertel's Bake Shop storefront

Last Friday, Gertel’s Bakery—the most-loved of the Lower East Side’s three remaining kosher bakeries—permanently closed its doors, after 90 years in business. Joanna Smith Rakoff, the editor of Nextbook.org and a longtime consumer of Gertel’s prune danishes, talked to the shop’s final customers about rugelach, “water challah,” and the past and future of a neighborhood in flux. 

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Gertel’s Last Stand

After 90 years, a Lower East Side institution shuts its doors

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