Israeli sandwich shop Sherry Herring goes belly up on the UWS


(New York Jewish Week) – The Upper West Side outpost of the popular Israeli sandwich shop Sherry Herring closed last week, after less than two years in business. 

Sherry Herring announced its closure in an Instagram post on May 31. “We have some important news to share,” the post said. “Regrettably, we are closing the doors of Sherry Herring, our beloved restaurant at 245 West 72nd St. We appreciate your support and the memories we’ve created together.”

“The only thing I can say is that I’m very sad that we are closing,” Israel-based founder Sherry Ansky told the New York Jewish Week when asked the reason for the restaurant’s closure. “Maybe if I was there it would have been different, but I had to stay in Israel and couldn’t be there.”

Ansky started Sherry Herring in a Tel Aviv farmer’s market in 2011, where it quickly became a destination. Its signature herring sandwich consists of “a fresh baguette, slathered with sour cream and French butter, seasoned with hot pepper, seeds and juice from a tomato, onions and scallions, and finished off with brined herring.” 

Ansky got the idea to open a New York City outpost during the pandemic, sending her son-in-law and business partner, Eyal Amir, to scout a location for the first of what they hoped would be several Sherry Herring shops. They chose the Upper West Side, Amir told the New York Jewish Week, “because it is a Jewish neighborhood where our penetration to the market will be easiest.” 

Sherry Herring opened on West 72nd Street in October 2021 with “no sherry and no herring,” the New York Jewish Week reported at the time. Ansky was stuck in Israel waiting for travel documents to be approved, and the herring that would be the star of the menu was still aging in brine in the Netherlands. (It eventually arrived mid-December.) The New York menu also included salmon, mackerel and tuna sandwiches.

The first time Ansky saw the line for her shop, ““I fainted and ran away,” she said. “I told the people to go away! I can’t do it.”

The eatery was beloved both by locals and globe-trotting foodies. “Somebody Feed Phil” star and “Everybody Loves Raymond” creator Phil Rosenthal described the herring sandwich at the Tel Aviv shop as “a perfect example of something seemingly simple yet a very sophisticated work of art.” 

Changes had been made to the menu and the New York restaurant in the months leading up to its closure. In February, they announced an “elevated” evening menu called “Sherry Herring After Dark,” which featured various tapas style dishes and Israeli wine and beer. The restaurant also posted on Instagram that it was hiring on March 5. Later that month, Sherry Herring lost its kosher certification — and indicated to the website Yeah That’s Kosher that “they will likely close their UWS location by September.”

Instead, the closure happened several months earlier. “The owners decided that it’d be best for everybody to close,” the New York restaurant’s general manager, Alex Ben Chimol, said when reached by phone by the New York Jewish Week. “Maybe we’ll reopen another time in a different location.” 

Sherry Herring’s May 31 Instagram post hinted at that possibility, stating: “Although we won’t be at this location anymore, we’re excited for new culinary adventures. Stay connected for updates on our future plans.” The text on the image reads: “See you soon New York.”

“They made me fall in love with herring and they tried their best in recreating an old Jewish niche,” Uncle Edik’s Pickles proprietor Edward Ilyasov told the New York Jewish Week. “We loved their creativity and they carried our pickles from the very beginning. They will be missed!”