It’s the last week of service at Edith’s Eatery and Grocery, a Jewish restaurant and grocery store that set out to become a modern day Zabar’s when it opened in Williamsburg last year. Owner Elyssa Heller announced the decision in a post on social media on Monday morning. Sunday, May 28 is her last day at 312 Leonard Street, on the corner of Conselyea Street, as the business prepares to expand in Manhattan.
“We’re trying to build Edith’s as a brand, not as a standalone restaurant,” Heller says. She’s closing her full-service restaurant, which opened in January 2022, to focus on expanding her first brick-and-mortar business, Edith’s Sandwich Counter, a more casual takeout spot located a few blocks away that’s become known for its bagel sandwiches. A second location of the shop will open in Tribeca in about a month, followed by a mix of Edith’s pop-ups and brick-and-mortar sandwich shops scattered across Manhattan. Heller declined to provide the address for the new shop or its opening date.
“The entire city needs bacon, egg, and cheeses and Sephardic wraps and slushies,” Heller says of her menu, known for, among other items, its tahini-coffee slushie. “Who am I to deny them of that?”
The pair of Edith’s restaurants, located within a few blocks of each other in Williamsburg, have had a storied run. The business started as a pandemic pop-up selling wood-fired bagels out of the Greenpoint pizzeria Paulie Gee’s. It saw lines down the block most mornings, and in 2021, Heller found a permanent home for her sandwiches at 495 Lorimer Street, near Powers Street, where it will continue to operate, despite the sibling restaurant shutting down.
Edith’s Eatery and Restaurant opened the following year — a restaurant, bakery, Jewish deli, general store, and bar under one roof. Heller, who is from Highland Park, Illinois, set out to open a business that both rivaled and contributed to the city’s iconic Jewish restaurant scene. “A lot of the ones that are still around are so old and iconic that they have become tourist destinations,” she said ahead of the restaurant opening. “This is Zabar’s for the next generation.”