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.”
I know we’ll be hearing more of these but: just heard about the closing of a beloved restaurant - Abigael’s on Broadway. Sooooo many memories - dates and anniversaries, celebrations, pick-me-ups. These spaces matter & their loss is real…not only for owners & workers. RIP— Shai Secunda (@shaisecunda) May 18, 2020
Meanwhile, kosher food writer Dani Klein predicted that the fate of Abigael’s was a harbinger of closures to come.
I think other kosher restaurants will be in trouble, particularly the business-district places (midtown, downtown) + high-end places that rely on ambiance and service will struggle during this time.— Dani Klein 🌍🍴 Yeah That’s Kosher (@YeahThatsKosher) May 18, 2020
Irene Katz Connelly is an editorial fellow at the Forward. You can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org.