Goodbye to Glaser’s Bake Shop, the heart of Yorkville

On Sunday, July 1, Glaser’s Bake Shop at First Avenue and 87th Street in Yorkville will close its doors for the final time. Opening on April 2, 1902, Yorkville was still a sleepy German-American enclave at that time, and the shop was primarily created to produce and sell bread. Over the years, as Manhattan evolved and Yorkville changed, Glaser’s adapted as well to be known throughout the city for its pastries, cookies, cakes, and pies. Living a block away for 13 years, my three daughters simply called it “the bakery.” When it ends, it is truly the end of an era in this neighborhood, and I pay tribute to it with this photo essay.


It was quite a shock when this sign appeared outside Glaser’s. Apparently the entire building the bakery is in is going to be sold and re-developed.


The display case facing First Avenue has always rotated for seasonal displays. Their gingerbread cookies in December will be missed, as well as their more unusual items such as bread with a colorful Easter egg in the center in the spring (Italian Pane di Pasqua) or King Cake for Mardi Gras. If you were looking for decorated cookies for Valentine’s Day, July 4th, Halloween, or Thanksgiving, Glaser’s always had a unique assortment.


The pastries offered varied day-to-day depending on what they had made and not sold out of. Everything was baked in house.


Displays inside the store reference its historic past.


Glaser’s birthday cakes could be ordered and personalized in advance, and innumerable children growing up on the Upper East Side featured these at their parties.


“Whoopie pies” were one of Glaser’s more unusual offerings. If you can’t decide between a cookie and a cupcake, why not try cookies with icing in the middle?


Glaser’s was perhaps most famous for it’s iconic NYC black-and-white cookies.


Cake donuts and danishes never disappointed.


The top row of this display shows the two kinds of brownies – with nuts or without (but with chocolate chips). If you happened to walk past Glaser’s when these were baking, the delicious chocolate scent would follow you for most of the block.


You could see past the displays right back to the baking area. An old clock reminds us, “The time is NOW!”


Glaser’s closes July 1, 2018. Get there before it closes if you can – Saturday mornings the line can be out the door. Closed Sundays and Mondays, cash only. When Glaser’s is gone, I feel that a lovely chapter in the history of Yorkville will be ending. Thanks for the memories, Glaser’s – and for delicious treats that were like traveling back in time.

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