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NEWS: No Soup For You—Not

Soup will be dished out more cheerfully at
the reopened location of the original Soup
Nazi. Photo courtesy

As many soup lovers are aware, the International Soup Kitchen immortalized 15 years ago on “Seinfeld” (the episode was first broadcast on November 2, 1995) is a real place. The small, modest storefront has stood since 1974 at 259A West 55th Street in Manhattan, just east of Eighth Avenue.

After the place, its owner and the Larry David-penned catchphrase, “No soup for you!” entered the national consciousness, a group of investors enlisted owner Al Yageneh (who abhorred being called the ‘Soup Nazi’) to turn his name and likeness into a franchise operation. The first The Original Soupman store opened in 2004.

The franchise did not find the same success as the little shop on West 55th Street. Outside of New York City, people resisted paying $7.00 for a cup of soup. Some franchises closed, including the first The Original Soupman store on Fifth Avenue in New York City. Others are still ladling out the soup.

Now, the original International Soup Kitchen location, which has been shuttered since 2004, is reopening as The Original Soupman.

Al Yageneh will not be in the kitchen, behind the counter or even at hand. Instead, baseball great Reggie Jackson and Chef Dan Rubano will be there to cut the ribbon—with a chef’s knife instead of a scissors.

What will the soup be like without the original soupman at the helm? We’ll drop by to check it out—but not on opening day, when Reggie Jackson and the draw of free tee shirts will have lines wrapping around the block.

The ribbon cutting is at noon on Tuesday, July 20th. If you want to be part of the opening day crowd, show up between 12 p.m. and 7 p.m. But if you want to meet Reggie and get a shirt, come early. Otherwise: No shirt for you—and no Reggie, either.


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