Glaser’s Bake Shop was supposed to stay open on its final day until 3 p.m. — or until it sold out.
At 2:30 p.m. on Sunday, some stragglers who had hoped to snag one last black-and-white cookie found instead a storefront shuttered after 116 years. Herb Glaser’s brownie recipe was taped to the window.
“We’re going to miss them,” Patrick Kirley, 52, said of the brothers who ran the shop. An Upper East Side resident of 14 years, Kirley bought a Glaser’s “kitchen sink” cookie every weekend. “I thank them very much for all the wonderful weekends they’ve given me of pastries and coffee.”
Yusyin Hsin, 35, has lived in the neighborhood for the past 10 years and has stocked up on cookies, pies and Danishes four times in the past week. He even got up to stand in line at 6:30 a.m. on Saturday, eager to get his fix.
“It was a really nice bonding experience because all of us in the front [of the line] who had been coming here for a while, we really love the products and we also have this shared community that this place represented for us,” he said on Sunday.
Longtime residents were sad to see the institution go, but they didn’t feel the same bond as the relative newcomers.
“To me, it’s a bakery,” said Jim Kane, 84, who has lived in the Upper East Side for 74 years. “To everybody else, this is the famous place.”
Ruth Gutman, 65, who has lived on the Upper East Side for 41 years, said that she rarely ate sweets, but that the bakery represented a more traditional era, before the ubiquitous supermarkets.
“It reminded me of my old bakery in my antique little town where I grew up in New Jersey that I used to go to every week,” Gutman said. “You’d go to the butcher, you’d go to the baker.”
On Sunday afternoon, Hsin spotted a passer-by snatch the brownie recipe taped to the store window. The apparent move to make off with the piece of history was foiled — Hsin chased him down, and restored the recipe to its proper place.
Like memories of Glaser’s Bake Shop, Herb’s brownies are made to be shared.