Kossar's Bialys, under new ownership, got a makeover a couple months ago. So I went by to check it out.
Founded in 1936, it's still on Grand Street and it's still called Kossar's. So there's that. The interior used to be unfussy, haphazard, almost industrial. I liked it that way.
Here's what it used to look like:
(Note the lack of cute sandwich names on the menu board.)
Now the place is shiny and new. With cute sandwich names. Which is the way everything seems to go.
Here's what it looks like now:
The new place is basically inoffensive. Nothing to be excited about and nothing, really, to complain about either.
The menu offers two special services: "YES," it reads, "WE TOAST AND SCOOP!"
This is not a message to New Yorkers.
This is a message to tourists and to the extended-stay tourists known as recent transplants who don't ever intend to become New Yorkers. Because while some New Yorkers might toast their fresh bagels when putting butter on them, scooping is a definite no-no. A shonda, you might say.
Here's Gothamist's take on scooping: "Did you ask for the dough to be scooped out from your bagel? Really?
You demanded that the soul of your bagel be removed? Well, neither
toasting nor untoasted freshness can save you. Please leave bagels alone
forever. We have nothing more to say to you."
And the Post agrees, saying "Bagel scoopers are ruining NYC." In addition, it's wasteful.
Also, that exclamation point? Totally for the tourists.