Farewell to the Panhandler

Beloved cooking supply store Broadway Panhandler will shutter this spring

After 40 years, Broadway Panhandler, a favorite cooking supply store of many chefs and New Yorkers, will pack up its pots and pans and close its doors for good this spring. Owner Norman Kornbleuth told the Times, which broke the story, "I'm now 72; my wife has health issues. It's time."

Kornbleuth hasn't announced a closing date, "I intend to be out there offering advice until we don't have anything left to sell," he told me this afternoon, adding that one of his favorite parts of the job is "trying to match up the right product to the customer. That's something a lot of people can't do today and I am one of those lucky enough to have that experience."

"I was very happy to put in 40 years," Kornblueth said, recalling demonstrations he arranged in the shop over the years with the likes of Jacques Pepin, Eric Ripert and Jean Georges Vongerichten.

Writers and cooks quickly took to Twitter to mourn the news:

  

 

 

 

 

Kornblueth originally opened the shop in Soho in 1976 and later moved it to its current home near NYU in 1995, but his roots in the cooking supply world are deeper than that. His father Harry sold restaurant supplies to the U.S. Navy during World War II and later operated a business that supplied equipment for schools and hospitals. And, while his daughter Heather Lamster works with him now, Kornbleuth said she and her sister weren't interested in taking over the business.

Given the shop's history of sales, a big blowout on everything seems likely. Well, almost everything. Kornbleuth says he may open a small knife business after Broadway Panhandler closes.