RIP Kenny Shopsin, Iconic Owner of Shopsin’s General Store
Word began circulating over the holiday weekend that the patriarch of Shopsin’s General Store, Kenny Shopsin, just passed away. He reportedly died on Sunday.
Now located in the soon-to-be-demolished Essex Street Market, Shopsin’s General Store is actually a product of Greenwich Village. Kenny Shopsin took over the bodega at 63 Bedford Street (at Morton) in 1973, continuing as a grocer, then eventually morphing into the beloved diner format. Here it served the community until the 2002, when landlord R.A. Cohen & Associates purchased the building. Faced with losing his lease, Shopsin’s relocated down the block to the corner of Carmine, where it remained until its demise at the end of 2006. Shopsin’s reopened several months later as a slimmed-down stall in the southernmost corner of the Essex Street Market.
Shopsin dreamed up the legendary cluttered menu carries some 900 eclectic dishes, including “Slutty Cakes” and “Blisters on My Sisters.” Bizarre rules and grumpy service that’s often refreshing. For instance, there are no reservations or parties more than four.
Kenny Shopsin also released a cookbook in 2008 to acclaim, dubbed Eat Me: The Food and Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin.
Word seems to have gotten out that Kenny Shopsin passed away yesterday. I have no photos of him in the restaurant because why? What photo could capture everything I ate and learned from him. Why interrupt those moments trying to capture them, rather than simply be in them? Some people would call that one of Kenny’s rules. But it was a lesson. I loved him and love his family. This is a hard day. Reopening comments after this morning of silence. Say something nice or at least true. … PS I grabbed this shirt at random today. I don’t believe in signs. But.
Tonight we lost an icon in NYC. Kenny Shopsin opened his store in 1973, giving us Village kids a menu of over 600 items after a long night out or day in the neighborhood. His foul mouth and personality will always be something we treasure. The originator of the mash-up food experience in his book Eat Me The Food And Philosophy of Kenny Shopsin. We love you @shopsinsnyc #idols #respect @teamcoco