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Kosher eatery Abigael’s on Broadway falls victim to coronavirus

Abigael’s on Broadway, a staple of New York City’s kosher dining scene for decades, will close its dining room as a result of the coronavirus pandemic, owner Jeff Nathan announced on Monday.

Founded in 1995, Abigael’s, was hardly the city’s oldest kosher eatery. But its spacious dining room and proximity to Broadway theaters made it a destination for dates and special occasions from bar mitzvahs to weddings.

Besides operating a dining room, Abigael’s also provides catered kosher food to hotels and synagogues and operates a concession stand at Madison Square Garden. Those wings of the business will reopen once social distancing measures relax, Nathan said in a statement on Facebook.

On Twitter, Abigael’s aficionados voiced sadness at the closure. Shai Secunda, a Jewish Studies professor at Bard College who remembered spending “dates and anniversaries, celebrations, [and] pick-me-ups” at the restaurant, said, “These spaces matter & their loss is real…not only for owners & workers.”

Meanwhile, kosher food writer Dani Klein predicted that the fate of Abigael’s was a harbinger of closures to come.

The coronavirus pandemic has devastated the restaurant industry. While some have pivoted to focus on take-out and delivery, many high-end institutions have been unable to adapt.

Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at connelly@forward.com.

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