Rent Hike Forces Häagen-Dazs Out of Chinatown After 41 Years
The longstanding Häagen-Dazs ice creamery in Chinatown will soon close its doors at the corner of Bayard and Mott Streets. The store has been at 53 Mott Street since 1977.
A purported rent hike is the culprit, ending the decades-long tenure. The $10,000-per-month lease is up November 30, which doubles as the final day in business. Current owner Chusheng Wong, who took over the business in 2010, allegedly couldn’t sustain at the higher rate.
Reuben Mattus co-founded the ice cream company with his wife, Rose, in 1959. Both were immigrants of Polish descent who eventually met in Brownsville, Brooklyn. He and his daughter Doris later opened the first Häagen-Dazs shop on Montague Street in 1976. The Chinatown store followed a year later.
Mattus coined the Danish-sounding Häagen-Dazs as a tribute to Denmark’s favorable treatment of its Jewish population during the Holocaust, adding an umlaut which does not exist in Danish.
The Mattus clan sold Häagen-Dazs to the Pillsbury Company in 1983 for $70 million. It’s now owned by General Mills.