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New Russ & Daughters Cafe Opens Inside The Jewish Museum

By Shaye Weaver | February 23, 2016 5:31pm
 The new Russ & Daughters eatery at the Jewish Museum will serve museum-goers as well as those who want a good kosher meal.
Russ & Daughters opened its uptown location at the Jewish Museum on Tuesday.
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UPPER EAST SIDE — Lower East Side staple Russ & Daughters is now serving its much-loved smoked fish, spreads and pastries, at its first uptown location in the Jewish Museum.

The kosher eatery officially opened on Tuesday in a lower level space inside the museum on the corner of Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street, featuring 70-seats and its usual menu.

Niki Russ Federman, the fourth generation owner of Russ & Daughters, says his cafe and the museum are a great "shidduch" or match.

"As stewards of New York culture and Jewish culture, both of our institutions appreciate that our role in preserving tradition also means embracing change," she said in a statement.

Russ & Daughters' celebrated menu will be the same at the new outpost, including smoked fish platters, bagels, bialys, herring, salads, soups and babka, to name a few favorites, according to a spokeswoman for the Jewish Museum.

Its baked goods will be made at the company's kitchen in Brooklyn and shipped to the museum location every day.

The cafe will also include a take out counter, which will open later, but once it does, customers will be able to take home smoked fish and spreads by the pound.

The centerpiece of the new space will be a 20-foot-long mural by artist Maira Kalman, made up of 120 vignettes and small scenes depicting New York and food.

The museum's former cafe was completely deconstructed and its walls stripped away to open the space up and to reveal its original vaulted clay tile ceiling, brick walls and window openings, according to the museum's spokeswoman.

"Russ & Daughters at the Jewish Museum will enhance the visitor experience while bringing together two century-old, iconic Jewish institutions to offer our audiences traditional favorites alongside newly reinterpreted classics" said Claudia Gould, the museum’s Helen Goldsmith Menschel Director.

“This partnership reflects the Museum's commitment to exploring art and Jewish culture, from historical to contemporary, while infusing it with an up-to-date sensibility,” she continued.

The restaurant will be open Sunday through Wednesday, 11 a.m. to 5:45 p.m., Thursday from 11 a.m., to 8 p.m., and Friday from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with plans to expand its hours. 

Earlier this month, Russ & Daughters announced it would be opening a new location at the Brooklyn Navy Yard Food Hall next year.