In 2011, when 40 year old bagel bakery and shop H&H shuttered, Upper West Siders and bagel fans both in and outside of NYC were bereft. A New York Times article went as far as proclaiming: "What many natives of the West 70s and 80s have long prophesied has come to pass: The neighborhood is finished."
This winter, H&H will return to the neighborhood — well, sort of, reports West Side Rag. An outpost of H&H Midtown Bagels East is opening on Columbus Avenue between 85th and 86th Streets. The shop used to be connected to the original H&H long ago, but as the business changed hands over the years, the owner of the West Side location Helmer Toro (who later wound up in jail for stealing from his employees) sued the the East side store and forced its owner to change the company's name. So, no, this isn't precisely H&H, but — and this is an important but — as little changes in the world of classic bagel shops, there's a half decent chance that team still uses the same bagel recipe H&H was using on 80th Street before it shuttered. If that's the case, you can expect streams of old H&H fans shuffling between the new bagel shop and Zabar's come Saturday and Sunday mornings.
When H&H closed in 2011, bagel maven and former Times critic Mimi Sheraton called the state of the New York bagel "deplorable." But, things have gradually been getting better in the world of bagels in New York with the introduction and now expansion of Black Seed and plans for a Torrisi-backed bagel and appetizing restaurant Sadelle's, which should start selling bagels from ex-Roberta's baker Melissa Weller any day now.