New Yorkers craving a signature potato knish from a vendor cart are out of luck. Gabila’s “Famous Original Coney Island Square Knishes” are unavailable due to a factory fire.
For weeks, the only evidence was scant messages on social media, and the undeniable unavailability of the treats in the city. A lone post on the Facebook page of a Massapequa restaurant declared on October 9 that Gabila’s “had a major fire” and listed “no exact time” for resumption of production.
While no other news was available, Foods of New York also stated that knishes would be unavailable in its mail-order packages“due to a fire at the factory;” and Gabila’s own website mysteriously listed a simple six pack of square knishes as “out of stock.”
Finally, on October 23, Gabila’s confirmed via Facebook and Twitter that a fire had halted production. The company also posted a “Special Notice” on the header of its site, saying the fire was “small” and “contained,” and that the knishes will return at “approximately the end of November.”
The issues seems to have affected only production of the square knishes, with all other products still available.
Gabila’s knishes were produced at a factory in the Williamsburg section of Brooklyn from 1921 until the lot was sold in 2005 for condo development. The company then moved to a location on Long Island.
Knishes have been a staple of Jewish–and New York–cuisine since immigrants brought them over from Eastern Europe in the early 20th century. Gabila’s was one of the first producers to wrap the knish filling completely, and fry it, rather than baking it. The Coney Island Square Knishes are often available across the country at Costco and Publix.