Reports confirmed this week that kosher restaurant Noah’s Ark Deli on the Lower East Side will not reopen. The closure means the once-overwhelming Jewish neighborhood now lacks a full service kosher restaurant for the first time in decades, possibly over a century.
Noah’s Ark closed in early September in observance of the High Holy Days, but did not reopen even following Sukkot. It had opened on Grand Street in 2003. The owners, who still successfully operate the restaurant’s original location in Teaneck, NJ, had guaranteed as recently as early October that the LES establishment would reopen.
But according to The Jewish Week, the spot is now official closed. Despite a good deal on rent, the restaurant had supposedly been struggling with flagging business that sent prices soaring.
Thousands of Jewish immigrants flocked to the cramped tenements of the Lower East Side in the late 1800s and early 1900s. But within a generation, many had relocated to the outer boroughs or New Jersey.
Still, a local rabbi told JW that 300 kosher-observant families still live in the neighborhood.
A quick Yelp search shows several kosher bakeries and a fish market still in the area. The head of the LES Conservancy, a Jewish non-profit, says the neighborhood also boasts a buzzing local pizza place, and “a kosher supermarket with its own full time sushi chef.”
Less observant diners there can also patronize the legendary Katz’s Deli, which is kosher-style, not kosher.