Gertel’s Last Stand
After 90 years, a Lower East Side institution shut its doors
June 26, 2007
On a Friday back in 2007, Gertel’s Bakery—the most-loved of the Lower East Side’s then remaining kosher bakeries—permanently closed its doors after 90 years in business. Joanna Rakoff, 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.