Barney Greengrass dining shed destroyed in string of UWS fires


The FDNY put out a spate of small fires on the Upper West Side early Thursday morning, including one that damaged a dining shed outside iconic Jewish deli Barney Greengrass, authorities said.

Firefighters responded to a blaze outside the eatery on Amsterdam Avenue, between West 86th and West 87th streets, around 5:40 a.m., police and the FDNY said. The fire broke out around 5:15 a.m., the NYPD said.

That fire was extinguished approximately 30 minutes after firefighters put out a small rubbish fire at the 86th Street subway station, the FDNY said.

FDNY members also extinguished a rubbish fire at the 72nd Street subway station; a rubbish fire outside an apartment building on West 87th Street, between Broadway and Amsterdam Avenue; and a rubbish fire at the intersection of West 96th Street and Broadway between 5:20 a.m. and 6 a.m., the department said.

No one was injured by any of the fires, the FDNY said. The NYPD said three of the blazes, including the one that damaged Barney Greengrass’ dining shed, were being investigated as incidents of arson.

Manhattan Borough President Mark Levine took to Twitter to denounced the incident Thursday afternoon.

“Barney Greengrass is a beloved Jewish deli on the Upper West Side, truly an institution for generations,” Levine wrote. “Now it’s been hit by arson, just ahead of Passover. Horrible.”

“Let’s all make it a point to go by and shop there in the coming days,” he added.

Barney Greengrass’ third-generation owner, Gary Greengrass, told NY1 he learned about the fire outside the nearly 114-year-old eatery from a staff member early Thursday morning.

“The initial reaction is, certainly, you’re upset, you feel violated, but thank God the positive is, no one got hurt. It’s replaceable,” Greengrass said. “We’re still, thank God, able to operate indoors.”“

We expect to continue with outdoor dining, as we have before. It’s been a big energy booster to the business, not just to us, but to other people as well,” he added. “And we look forward to not missing a beat.”

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