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A 96-Year-Old Center City Bakery Is Closing, At Least Temporarily

The Rittenhouse shop will stop selling its signature hazelnut cake in August but has plans to reopen

Swiss Haus [Facebook]

Kosher bakery Swiss Haus, a staple in Philly for close to 100 years despite multiple ownership changes, is closing for at least a month. But it doesn’t sound like a simple renovation during the slow summer months is the cause.

According to social media posts by the bakery, which is located in Rittenhouse at 35 S. 19th Street, the owner is looking to “revitalize and revamp our brand, culture and overall client experience for the better” in a “significant undertaking.”

Swiss Haus will stay open, selling items like its signature hazelnut and vanilla butter cream cake, until August 1. The plan is to reopen on September 3, and in the meantime form a focus group of sorts: a “customer council of our most faithful and loyal clients, to provide us with constant feedback.”

When asked for more details, the bakery declined to comment.

Swiss Haus changed hands early this year, with Ronald Simms, who works in finance, taking over. It was one of a few times the bakery found new owners since the Christen family opened it in 1923, according to the website.

It closed briefly in 2007, before new owner Jim Hausman revived it with the same baker, Donna Feldman, and changed the name from the Swiss Pastry Shop. A second location opened and closed in Old City, and there was a lapse in the kosher status in 2017.

When Simms took over this year, a tipster told Eater he planned to turn it into more of a cafe for hanging out than a place to pick up cakes and cookies.

Swiss Haus Bakery

35 S 19th St, Philadelphia, PA 19103 (215) 563-0759 Visit Website