Hinsch’s shuts up shop on Bay Ridge’s Fifth Avenue

A Bay Ridge fixture, Hinsch’s Luncheonette, is closed.

After 63 years of serving up ‘50s and ‘60s nostalgia along withthe classic burgers, egg creams, waffles and ice cream sodas, theFifth Avenue fixture ceased operations on Thursday, September 29,after business owner and leader John Logue decided not to renew thelease.

The news shocked customers who passed by the establishment andhappened to notice the bright orange sign in the window, thankingcustomers for their support and loyalty, and explaining thatcurrent economic conditions, customers’ changing eating patternsand [the Logue family’s] desire to retire early led to theirdecision. The sign announcing the closure hung next to another signoffering a $5.99 burger deluxe to celebrate the eatery’s 62ndanniversary.

For area residents, the news was an unpleasant surprise and onethat sparked a slew of fond memories.

It was a place that everybody went to. I was watching onFacebook, people writing – even those who don’t live in theneighborhood anymore – and [we all] have so many great memories ofHinsch’s, said native Ridgeite Arlene Rutuelo. When I was in[Fort Hamilton] High School, we went up there every day afterschool and sat around… Their French fries were just crispy andfresh – that was our ‘Let’s go to Hinsch’s after school’ line.French fries and diet coke.

However, memories aside, Rutuelo, herself a long-time businessowner on Third Avenue with Nordic Delicacies, noted that she canunderstand the factors that influenced Logue’s decision.

As a business owner, [I know that] you can’t pay the bills ongreat memories, she said. And I totally understand that and Iwish the Logues well on their retirement. But it’s sad to see themdisappear.

The rent for the 86th Street and Fifth Avenue storefront wasreportedly set to be increased to over $10,000 per month from thecurrent $7,500 per month.

Rutuelo’s sentiment is shared by many, including the people whowrote this message on the glass door of what was once Hinsch’s:

Thank you for all the years of wonderful service and deliciousice cream and food! You will be dearly missed in the community ofBay Ridge and every other lives (sic) you have touched. There willnever be another place like this. You guys will be deeply and trulymissed. [Signed,] the folks of the wonderful Bay Ridge!

Under that, another resident saluted the luncheonette as BestBite of the Apple, describing it as one of the BayRidginals.

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