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Owner: Hinsch’s will stay open — later than ever!

The beloved Hinsch’s luncheonette on Fifth Avenue between 85th and 86th strets, has closed for good.
Photo by Arthur De Gaeta

It’s Hinsch’s 3.0!

The 65-year-old Fifth Avenue luncheonette — formerly slated to close for the second time in two years on March 1 — will remain open for the foreseeable future, with a new nighttime personality that will give customers a different menu, shaded windows, jazz music while they eat, and the option to bring in their own alcohol.

Hinsch’s co-owner Roger Desmond — who helped save the restaurant from the grave in 2011 — said he had a national burger chain lined up to take over his 10-year lease on the space between 86th and 87th streets, but the deal fell through. Desmond put the spot back on the market, but in the meantime is looking to shake things up at the ice cream parlor, which he claims has so far failed to attract the vital youth market.

“I want to make it work. I always wanted to make it work. So while I’m here, I’m going to continue to try to make it work,” said Desmond.

The businessman said he plans have the 1950s soda fountain transform at nightfall into a swinging hangout for the dinner crowd, bringing blinds down over the windows and staying open at least two hours longer than its former 9 pm bedtime. Candles will go out on the tables, the radio system will turn from golden oldies to jazz, and the kitchen will start serving chicken francaise, Texas meatloaf, fried chicken and waffles, and a cheeseburger with beef from gourmet meat dealer Pat LaFrieda. And instead of just drinking egg creams, customers will be free to bring in a six-pack of beer or a bottle of wine.

“It’s going to be a different place at night,” said Desmond, adding that the changeover will start in the next week. “I can’t wait to see what it will look like myself.”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at wbredderman@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at twitter.com/WillBredderman.

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