Well, New York City, we've got some bad news. Those of you who fiercely advocate for the OG NYC institutions will not be happy to hear that a changing Bronx neighborhood has driven Zaro's Bakery to close.

Zaro's has 12 other locations throughout the city, but this particular branch was sacred to many Bronx residents. 

Zaro's has sat on the Bronx's Hugh J. Grant Circle for nearly 56 years, and it closed on Monday.

Now, we've got to grieve its closing.

Why was the beloved bakery forced to vacate its real estate? The easy answer is that a Boston Market is taking its place, and Boston Market won't be decimated by absurd rent prices.

According to The New York Times, Zaro's was not offered the opportunity to renew its lease.

Stuart Zaro, co-president of the company and the grandson of Zaro's founder, Joseph Zaro, said Olshan Properties, Zaro's management company, told him Boston Market would take over the property.


"It's been a local landmark here," said 52-year-old Lou Paler, who visited the bakery on the day of its closing for one last father-son Zaro's breakfast. "We were proud of the fact that this was our bakery."

Just how bad is the #SaveNYC crisis in which local, beloved, independently owned restaurants are being driven out by corporate chains who can afford to shell out exorbitant rents?

The number of chains in NYC has been steadily rising. 2015 marks the seventh year of growth in chains. The current total of chains sucking down the city's revenue tallies in at 7,550 stores.

The borough that's had the most chains implanted onto their street corners? That title goes to the Bronx.

zarosfamilybakery Looking for last minute holiday gifts? We've got #cakes, #cookies & #giftbaskets galore. Just stop in on your way home - visit us @grandcentralnyc or Penn Station!

In 2014 there were 914 chain stores in the Bronx and now, as 2015 draws to a close, there are 944. The point is that the loss of Zarro's is far from unique. 

"They're driving out all the middle-income businesses," Zaro said. "and they're going to bring us another greasy spoon or a fast-food restaurant. We don't need another one of those."

While Zaro's is a chain itself, it's still a chain that evolved with the neighborhood. It's still a chain where the people behind the counter knew the names and orders of all their regular customers. 

"The Bronx has been our home since 1927 - a long, long time ago in a galaxy far, far away," Zaro said.

We don't have much to say in terms of calls to action except this: support local businesses when you can. It's the only way to prevent NYC from fully morphing into a heartless corporate wasteland. 

Check out 9 NYC People, Places and Things We Were Sad to See Go in 2015

[via The New York Times] [Feature Image Courtesy New York Daily News]