If an out-of-towner asks a native New Yorker for some “must eats” while staying in New York, inevitably most locals’ responses will be a piece of brick oven pizza, a real deli bagel, and a slice of Junior’s cheesecake. So ingrained in our culture is Junior’s, that it would be nothing short of a tragedy if the original location were to ever close or move. And after months of considering the generous offers to sell the original Junior’s Restaurant in Brooklyn — including an offer of $45 million — owner Alan Rosen has decided to not sell.
“Everything feels right with the world,” Rosen told The Daily Meal about his decision. “There’s tradition here. I spent my entire life here, my father spent his whole life here. When you love something so much, it’s not for sale.”
The whispers that Rosen was considering selling Junior’s began earlier this year, with Rosen vehemently denying that anything was official. Now, after months of keeping the dealings on the down-low, Rosen admits that the sale would have set a record in Brooklyn real estate for the highest price per square foot. But not only is he not selling, the air rights are non-negotiable as well.
But after almost 64 years of being in the business, a little (or a lot) less money is worth continuing to be a New York institution. Rosen shared with us a letter from a Junior’s fan that said, “We’ve been coming here since the ‘50s, and Junior’s has always had a special place in our hearts… we were concerned about what would happen [to the restaurant] but overjoyed when we heard the news this morning. You’re a special guy with tradition and a lot of soul.”
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Joanna Fantozzi is an Associate Editor with The Daily Meal. Follow her on Twitter@JoannaFantozzi