The New York City of Jerry Seinfeld and friends is, mostly (and sadly), no more. Kramer’s H&H Bagels has been replaced with a Verizon store (much to President Obama’s chagrin), and the Royale Pastry shop of West 72nd Street, also known as the Royal Bakery of the babka/black and white cookie/vomit-free streak’s end is now a Jenny Craig. Champagne Video? The place where George tried to return Rochelle, Rochelle and rent Breakfast at Tiffany’s? It’s an optometrist that I sincerely hope carries glasses from the Gloria Vanderbilt Collection. Even the Westbury Hotel — where Jerry and George met Elaine’s gruff father, and where the comedian’s suede jacket was irreparably destroyed — is gone. It’s been replaced by condos.
It’s hard to imagine what’s featured on Kenny Kramer’s famous Seinfeld reality tour anymore. Even the more polished On Location outing has a disclaimer featured on the tour page: “[We] cannot guarantee the presence of locations mentioned on our site.”
The Soup Man – Seinfeld‘s The Soup Nazi
Don’t worry, there’s plenty of soup for you. The show’s famous Soup Nazi was based on Soup Kitchen International, which was a popular soup restaurant owned by Al Yeganeh at 259 West 55th Street and 8th Avenue. Seinfeld, Larry David, and friends used to frequent the shop for lunch. Yeganeh was far from grateful for the free promotion however, and resented his tyrannical portrayal. “He got fame through me! I made him famous,” Yeganeh once raged about Seinfeld during a CNN interview. He then closed the doors to the popular soup place back in 2004 – but kept the lease. The store reopened at the same location six years later, just under a new name – The Original Soup Man.
According to Yelp-ers, the line isn’t too bad, and no, you won’t face any verbal abuse. While prices are a little high, it appears the soup lives up to expectations.
The Original Soup Man is also a franchise, so, even if you can’t make it to the Big Apple, there’s still a chance for you to sample the crab bisque. There are locations in New Jersey and Connecticut, and boxed versions are available for purchase in major grocery store chain locations in several Western states (Oklahomans, you’re in luck!).
LOCATION: 259 W. 55th St. (map)