The Suspicious Explosion that Sidelined Kossar’s Bialys on Clinton Street [HISTORY]

Posted on: October 28th, 2015 at 9:30 am by
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While Kossar’s Bakery remains shuttered for its requisite retail makeover, we thought it a good time to revisit a sordid episode in its decades-running history. A story to bide the time, if you will.

Next year, the Lower East side bakery celebrates eighty years in business. Much of that history was made at its current address in Seward Park. But it all began at 145 Clinton Street in 1936, in an area currently slated for Essex Crossing over-development. Mirsky and Kossar’s was the original name, taken from founders Isadore Mirsky and Morris Kossar.

Bialys were so the bomb in those days that that’s what happened. Allegedly.

Twenty-two years after its founding (1958), Kossar’s was sidelined due to a suspicious early-morning explosion. The blast handily shattered the plate glass window and blew open the iron door to the cellar. No one was injured, but the namesake’s mother, who lived upstairs, was taken to Gouverneur Hospital as a precaution.

The police, whose former precinct house operated down the block, found a fifty-foot length of wire strung from an iron support in the bakery’s basement to 141 Clinton two doors down. There they found a wired connection to a 9-volt dry cell battery, according to the New York Times. A bomb.

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From the New York Times

Now, for context…

Apparently there had been some controversy after Kossar’s aligned with the Local 3 of the Bakers and Confection Workers Union. Until that point, they were part of the Bialy Baker Association with six other local businesses. But a two-week strike against the bialy gang, so to speak, forced them to cave.

There isn’t much subsequent material about the blast. Was this explosion an act of revenge by the Association?

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