Hinsch’s is saved! Fifth Avenue fixture to reopen next month

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Hinsch’s, Bay Ridge’s legendary luncheonette and soda fountain, will reopen under new ownership in November.

Gerard Bell, an owner of the Fifth Avenue restaurant Skinflint’s, confirmed on Saturday evening that he and two partners had reached a deal with landlord Anna Tesoriero to reopen the legendary greasy spoon, known for its egg creams, homemade candies and throwback decor.

“We’re shooting for Nov. 1,” he said. “We’re in here now cleaning and just patching up some holes and we’re ready to go.”

Bell, a lifelong Ridgite, said he wanted to keep the shop from becoming another chain store — a common fate over the years.

“We wanted to revive the place, said Bell. “It’s a part of Bay Ridge history.

The menu will feature a couple new items, but the famous chocolates, milk shakes and egg creams will stay the same — as will its iconic signage and old-school interior.

“Everything is staying. We’re just cleaning it up and making it look nice,” he said.

The news, which was broken on the Facebook page of Councilman Vince Gentile (D–Bay Ridge), comes just two weeks after the 63-year-old family business was shuttered on Sept. 29 after city health inspectors found the shop between 85th and 86th streets was a refuge for rats, with rampant roaches and improperly refrigerated food.

Despite the timing, owner John Logue blamed the economy for his decision to shutter Hinsch’s.

“Our lease is expiring and we decided not to renew it,” said a note in the shop’s window. “Current economic conditions, customers changing eating patterns, and our desire to retire early have led us to this decision. We thank all of our customers for your business and appreciate your support and loyalty. We will miss serving you.”

After the closure, Tesoriero said she would seek rent of more than $10,000 a month — up from the $7,500 a month that Logue was paying.

Bell declined to comment on the specifics of the lease, but did say that Tesoriero cut him a deal because she wanted Hinsch’s to stay open.

Logue did not immediately return a phone message seeking comment.

The shop was a Bay Ridge fixture, but its clientele had not changed since Herman Hinsch opened the shop in 1948, one of three in Bay Ridge, and business had been on the decline.

Skinflint’s has its own syrupy history — the Fifth Avenue restaurant between 79th and 80th streets known for its burgers used to be the Myer & Blohm ice cream parlor.

Updated 5:27 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Betty Rummo from org. bay ridge says:
I used to meet my Grandmother Mary McIntyre during her lunch break from transit, It was always most enjoyable both the company & the food. When I had children we continued to meet there at least once a month. Shed tears when we heard it was closing. So happy it is staying and I will be going back on my next trip to Bay Ridge.
Oct. 16, 2011, 5:26 pm
Mary from Sunset Park says:
One word: YEAH!!!!
Oct. 16, 2011, 8:36 pm
Jo0hn Anderson from Honolulu says:
Terrific Gerard!
Oct. 17, 2011, 12:52 am
Jay from Bay Ridge says:
I will go there once a month when it reopens, ditching STARBUCKS.
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:30 am
Jim Balis from Park Slope says:
Hinsch's was a big part of my teenage years in the 70s, I hated to see it closed. Now that it is reopening I will make sure that my wife and I go back there regularly. You don't get very many second chances in this life, and I am not going to let this on escape me.
Oct. 17, 2011, 2:37 pm
Jeanette Grayeb-Mihal from Bay Ridge says:
Terrific news! Hinsch's is part of the neighborhood, and a special place. Thank you Mr. Bell.
Oct. 17, 2011, 4:32 pm
Annie from Brooklyn Heights says:
Great news! Love Hinsch's. When they reopen I'm going to make a special trip to Bay Ridge for their waffles.
Oct. 17, 2011, 7:28 pm
Alice from Bay Ridge says:
It's great to hear that Bay Ridge was able to save Hinsch's from disappearing. It's been part of the neighborhood and makes this a special place to live. I always enjoy going there for lunch with my daughter when shopping on 5th Avenue. We were there after the snow storm and heard people walked distances to have lunch and chat. Great News!!!
Oct. 17, 2011, 10:25 pm
kenny from bay ridge says:
now let's work on getting leske's bakery re-opened
Oct. 18, 2011, 4:48 pm
tommy says:
just as long as the rats are gone
Oct. 18, 2011, 8:25 pm
joe iacono from bay ridge says:
great news ! and great news that Gerald is now at the wheel !!!!
Oct. 19, 2011, 5:01 am
walter willumsen from norway says:
det var godt-spiste mye wafler og is paa 50-60 tallet.
Oct. 21, 2011, 1:21 pm
Karen from Dyker Heights says:
My family has been going to Hinsch's for over 50 years! It was always the perfect place to have a grilled cheese sandwhich and ice cream in an old fashioned setting! I've been going there since childhood...Our family is so happy Hinsch's will still be would not have been the same without it!
Oct. 22, 2011, 7:01 pm
dw from br says:
but will they still give blacks dirty looks when they try to buy a cream soda?
Oct. 24, 2011, 12:05 pm
bayridgegone from Bay Ridge says:
This is awesome news.
Oct. 24, 2011, 12:21 pm
Rob from Stamford-ct says:
Great news!!! best of luck
Gerard, RD cant wait to get a burger now
Oct. 24, 2011, 1:59 pm
Boricua from Bay Ridge says:
Nov. 2, 2011, 7:19 pm
Laura from Brighton Beach says:
I have never been to Hinsch's but judging from what I heard about it, I plan to try it when it re-opens.
Nov. 8, 2011, 9:11 pm
BayRidgeGone from Bay Ridge says:
I was so happy to hear Hinsch's reopened so I decided to give it a shot, well Good Luck! The food was awful, the service was worse. Alot of people working and walking around with their Heads up their ***. 15 min before anyone came to the table, another 15 min to get 2 cups of coffee, and the best , 20 min of waiting to get chocolate milk, oh it wasnt made, it was a bottle of nesquick, Good Luck !
Dec. 5, 2011, 1:56 pm
Rita from Bay Ridge says:
I was at Hinsch's today. They have the same owner, menu, and sweet potato fries as Lutheran Medical Center's Coffee Shop. I mean SAME exact menu. He must have cut and pasted it all.

The food and service was horrible. My friend and I were so disgusted and disappointed.
Dec. 5, 2011, 9:14 pm

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