Brooklyn-Based Jewish Joint, Edith’s, Eyeing Manhattan Expansion 

Edith’s will be shutting down its Eatery and Grocery store at 312 Leonard Street in Williamsburg to focus on its upcoming Manhattan projects.
Brooklyn-Based Jewish Joint, Edith’s, Eyeing Manhattan Expansion
Photo Credit: @edithsbk on Instagram

The Brooklyn-based pandemic pop-up shop turned brick-and-mortar, Edith’s, is expanding to Manhattan this year, owner Elyssa Heller confirms. 

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Its Eatery and Grocery store that opened in January 2022 will be closing at the end of May, but customers can count on multiple projects coming to both Manhattan and Brooklyn in the future, Heller says. She plans to open a series of sandwich counters, pop-ups, as well as debut brand collaborations, soon. However she is currently focused on bringing her hybrid sandwich counter meets grocery store fast casual concept to Manhattan.

Whether celebrating a birthday or sitting shiva (a Jewish mourning ritual), Heller wants Edith’s to be a welcoming community gathering spot. 

 “I think that food is such an easy and important vehicle for bringing people together and telling stories,” she tells What Now New York. “It’s a universal language.”

Edith’s began as a pandemic pop-up making its beloved bagel sandwiches out of Greenpoint’s Paulie Gee’s Pizzeria. Swiftly gaining popularity she set her sights on a standalone sit-down, opening Edith’s Sandwich Counter at 495 Lorimer Street in Williamsburg in spring 2021. The joint became best-known for its take on the New York bacon, egg and cheese sandwich, called BEC&L, which adds the Jewish potato pancake, latkes, to their traditional bagel sandwich, and their Iced Cafe Slushie made with cold brew, tahini and oat milk, rivaling the popular Israeli-based espresso bar Aroma’s frozen blended coffee. 

Edith’s has made an intentional effort to incorporate cuisine from throughout the Jewish diaspora, with menu items ranging from their Sephardi Breakfast Wrap made with Yemenite malawach bread stuffed with Alheira chicken sausage, cheesy scrambled eggs, pickled fresno peppers, herbs and harissa mayonnaise to their cheesy Russian Syrniki pancakes served with warmed fruit jam.

Heller’s Brooklyn deli roots run deep, with her great aunt Edith owning a Brooklyn deli back in the 50s. Heller, a Chicago-native, originally thought she wanted to become a doctor in college, but swiftly changed her mind. Whenever she felt fed up and daydreamed about where she’d rather be, she says she’d reminisce about simpler times at the deli. 

“My favorite times and memories from growing up were with my family at delis,” she says. “I just love it. The warm energy, the cast of characters, the food, the nostalgia, all of it.”

She graduated from Kingston, Canada’s Queen’s University with a bachelor’s in Health Science in 2011. She worked for popular food brand suppliers, from Dylan’s Candy Bar to Milk Bar, prior to pursuing her own venture. 

With expansion underway, Heller says she aspires for Edith’s to be a pop culture pillar like the esteemed Zabar’s empire. 

Falyn Stempler

Falyn Stempler is a freelance journalist based in Jersey City. In her free time she enjoys listening to live music, thrifting, collaging and traveling.
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