Steve Cuozzo

July 17, 20221:38pm


Hale and Hearty’s shutdown seemingly came out of nowhere — an NYC soup staple for 20 years. Google Maps

Steve Cuozzo

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Hale and Hearty, a popular New York soup cafe for 20 years, quietly closed all of its stores “temporarily,” according to signs in the windows. The brand has, or had, 16 locations in Manhattan, Brooklyn and Long Island comprising tens of thousands of square feet of retail space in prime locations.

The shutdowns came without warning. The branch at 745 Seventh Ave. was ladling out soup as recently as two weeks ago.

But the unexplained shutterings went unreported until now. Ironically the stores also had signs that announced “We are hiring!”

No further information was immediately available. The Hale and Hearty website “Contact us” box did not work.

One Hale and Hearty branch at 111 Fulton St. was recently sued by major food vendor Chefs Warehouse for nearly $160,000 in unpaid invoices and by its landlord for $400,000 in unpaid rent.

But nothing was known about circumstances at other locations.

The chain has had its ups and downs. It scaled down from 21 locations a few years ago and its Midtown and FiDi outlets were hammered by COVID-19-driven loss of lunchtime traffic. 

But the shutdown, if it turns out to be permanent, would be a loss to the city, especially as office employees continue to trickle back. Reliably good soup is increasingly hard to find in Manhattan, and no chain offered such a wide range of choices on a daily basis — from light chicken vegetable to thick New England clam chowder with pancetta, all made in its Brooklyn kitchens. Its sandwiches weren’t bad either.