Building and bakery owner Abe Stern said after fielding offers for two years for the prime space, a half-block from the F train, he finally went to contract in late 2006. But the parade of interested builders kept coming. When one in particular (Stern won’t name names or give numbers) came in with a higher offer, Stern put him in touch with the original buyer. It’s not the end of the road, though: Gertel’s wholesale division is moving to a kitchen on Steuben Street in Williamsburg (they’re keeping the 212 number). Stern says that phase two will be to bring the Gertel’s brand into the gourmet world, with a new line of French and Italian pastries. Once that gets going, the next step is Gertel’s Café, but he won’t say where. Though Stern does feel a twinge of sadness that the neighborhood is changing, he’s quick to give credit where credit is due. “I bought the building in 1998. It was the best thing Hashem did for me.” —Susan Avery
Earlier: Impending Jewish-Bakery Apocalypse?