Dead Bread: A Loving Farewell to City Bakery

City Bakery announced its closing after three decades of serving customers on Union Square.

City Bakery is taking a hiatus after three decades of serving up their iconic hot chocolate to Instagram-hungry New Yorkers. (Photo by Manasa Gudavalli)

After nearly three decades as Union Square’s premier hot chocolate destination, City Bakery has shuttered. The announcement was made via the bakery’s Instagram page, fittingly enough, as their hot chocolates have become an Insta-staple for tourists and locals alike. The announcement came as a shock to many, as the bakery fronted a steady crowd and swath of loyal customers, but the truth is the company had amassed a critical amount of debt

The 600 comments on the Oct. 20 post announcing City Bakery’s closing were merely a fraction of the devastated voices, and its significance among the disappointed NYU student body was notable as well.

Though the bakery insists this loss is temporary, it still leaves an indefinite void only the warmest hot chocolate and absurdly large housemade marshmallows could ever fill.

Rory Meyers first-year Sonika Nandi is mourning the loss.

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“I was honestly pretty devastated hearing City Bakery was closing,” Nandi said. “Their hot chocolates were something else, and I’m going to feel a serious need for them this midterm and finals season. If only they could have waited a few more months.”

There’s something about well-known and well-respected establishments in New York City that give a unique history to the city, filling its inhabitants with a sense of pride and community. City Bakery was one of these establishments. A visit would make a bad day better, making each trip out the door on a miserably cold morning worth it.

“A loss in so many layers. The faces and voices in front of our empty storefront the last two days already made that clear,” reads City Bakery’s announcement of its closing.

Though the Instagram post announcing their hiatus struck a chord with all types of New Yorkers, their plan for return is not definitive. They encouraged retailers to continue selling their products and for loyal customers to “watch their space.” But not even the avid community support could keep the establishment’s doors open.

For the time being, former patrons will just have to go without the hot chocolate they had become so fond of. Despite this painful sting, like that of a lost love, perhaps NYU students and the pretzel croissant will one day meet again.

Email Daniela Ortiz at [email protected]

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