For around 70 years, Rudy’s Pastry Shop in Ridgewood has displayed the German word “Konditorei” on its awning, which roughly translates to “pastry shop with a place to sit and eat.” But for much of those seven decades dining was difficult — Rudy’s only had room for a single table.
Now, with bakery owner Toni Binanti recently redesigning the famed bakery, expanding the shop to include a dining area and espresso bar, this is a problem no more.
The historic bakery celebrated its grand reopening on Saturday, March 10, drawing crowds of residents and politicians who came out to commemorate the Seneca Avenue pastry shop’s return — and to dine on some confectionaries.
Councilmembers Diana Reyna and Elizabeth Crowley, Assemblymember Mike Miller, Congressmember Nydia Velazquez and State Senator Joe Addabbo were in attendance. They, along with Binanti, eschewed the standard reopening ceremony for a more appetizing alternative.
“Everyone has a ribbon cutting, but not everyone has a pastry store like this,” said Paul Kerzner, president of the Ridgewood Local Development Corporation.
Instead of yielding oversized scissors, officials dined on fresh, homemade apple turnovers to mark the bakery’s grand reopening.
A neighborhood mainstay since the 1940s, Rudy’s harkens to a time when the area was the heart of the city’s German community and featured Deutsch establishments Zum Stammtisch, Niederstein’s, Gebhardt’s, Von Westernhagen and Gottscheer Hall, among others. Only Rudy’s, Zum Stammtisch and Gottscheer Hall remain.
Planting its roots in the community for the better part of a century, the bakery has established personal connections with many of the area’s residents, including Miller, whose father worked as a baker at Rudy’s more than three decades ago.
“It was a big part of our community then, it still is now,” the assemblymember said. “We look forward to [it] being here forever.”
“When I celebrated my inauguration, I went to the greatest bakery in town,” said Crowley. “And that was Rudy’s Bakery.”
Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who was unable to attend, sent a letter of congratulations to Binanti who also received a city council citation from Reyna and a certificate of special congressional recognition from Velazquez.