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Original Soupman of 'Seinfeld' fame now in Times Square

Get half-priced soups at the kiosk Thursday.

The Original Soupman has a kiosk as part

The Original Soupman has a kiosk as part of Urbanspace's Times Square Market. Photo Credit: David Handschuh

Soup’s on in Times Square.

The Original Soupman (whose founder inspired the Soup Nazi character on “Seinfeld”) is serving up its lobster bisque and chicken noodle on Broadway — but you don’t need to follow any rules to get your soup.

The month-old kiosk — which is offering half-priced soups Thursday to mark its grand opening — is one way the company looks to give renewed visibility to the iconic brand, which first opened in 1984 in midtown and expanded through franchises (it currently has a co-brand with a Cold Stone in Astoria, along with locations in Albany, Atlantic City and Mohegan Sun).

The past year-and-a-half has been a rebuilding one for the company; in 2017, the Original Soupman filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and saw its former CFO plead guilty to tax evasion. Gallant Brands took over ownership of the brand that fall.

“The brand has appealed to me for years,” said Joe Hagan, president of Gallant Brands. “The legacy is founded in a little place in New York that served phenomenal soup, so much so that [people] would wait a long period of time for soup. It’s part of New York, it has become part of our culture.”

“Seinfeld” popularized the catch phrase “No soup for you!,” inspired by Original Soupman founder Al Yeganeh’s strict rules at his soup shop. Hagan said passers-by are prone to yell it when they go by the new Times Square kiosk, which is decorated with the likeness of Larry Thomas, the actor who played Yev Kassem, aka the Soup Nazi, on “Seinfeld.”

The kiosk serves five soups — the top-sellers lobster bisque and classic chicken noodle, as well as mixed vegetables, turkey chili and Italian wedding — plus two specials daily from 10:30 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. The kiosk has stayed open as late as 2 a.m. sometimes to meet demand.

“The city never sleeps, and Times Square is probably that part of the city that sleeps the least,” Hagan said.

The Times Square location will operate seasonally, through the end of April. Hagan hopes the brand will have more opportunities with Urbanspace, which oversees the Times Square Market and other public markets and food halls throughout Manhattan.

Under the new ownership, the Original Soupman also has been building its presence on grocery shelves and online, introducing new products and operating its own production facility in Hunts Point in the Bronx. It also got its soups back on New York City public school lunch menus and recently teamed with Thomas, who reprised his character for a series of new commercials.

“I think it makes sense to get more people to know that we’re there,” Hagan said. “We just want to have fun with it in new and creative ways.”

IF YOU GO

The Original Soupman Times Square Kiosk will offer half-priced soups (normally $4-$16) on Jan. 24 from 10:30 a.m.-6 p.m. | Broadway between 43rd and 44th streets, 732-580-1477, originalsoupman.com/times-square

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