No soup for you! At least there wasn’t for the last six years at 259A West 55th Street in Manhattan. That was once the location of Soup Nazi restaurant of Seinfeld fame. And, as of yesterday, it is again.
Even the most casual of Seinfeld fans probably know of the Soup Nazi, the surly proprietor of a delicious soup takeout joint featured in an episode in the sitcom’s seventh season. Said surly proprietor was based on a real character, Al Yeganeh, who was not at all fond of Seinfeld’s “Soup Nazi” nickname. (Although prior to the Seinfeld Soup Nazi episode Yaganeh’s regulars referred to him as “The Terrorist,” which doesn’t strike us as any better a moniker.)
To protest Seinfeld‘s portrayal of him as a rude disciplinarian quick to ban patrons from his store Al Yaganeh decided to . . . ban the entire Seinfeld cast from his store. The irony is as thick as, well, soup.
Yaganeh might not have liked his portrayal on Seinfeld, but it served him well financially. Capitalizing on the show’s popularity—and, it must be said, the truly excellent quality of his product—Yaganeh sold The Original Soup Man franchises throughout the United States and Canada. But he closed down his flagship store.
It was this flagship Soup Man store that reopened in July 2010, the store featured on Seinfeld. Al Yaganeh himself does not work at the new store, though Seinfeld purists will be happy to know that the joint still operates under his strict regime. Free sides of bread are given to some patrons and not others. (See the video below for an example of what not to do if you are bread deprived). And customers must still carefully follow the rules, which are posted on a sign under the warning THE LINE MUST KEEP MOVING:
• Pick the soup you want!
• Have your money ready!
• Move to the extreme left immediately after ordering!
Spot Cool Stuff definitely recommends that fans of Seinfeld—and fans of soup—visit the original Soup Man outlet at least once when in New York City. Just don’t make the staff there angry.