Allen Scher, 60, a beloved figure in the Morris Park community who recently opened the city-theme Burger Time restaurant, was found dead Sunday, Nov. 10 in his Morris Park home.
Scher had realized his dream of creating a dining experience that reminded him of his roots growing up in Washington Heights.
“It is like your are outside when you are eating inside,” Scher said in a September interview with The Bronx Times Reporter at Burger Time at 1080 Morris Park Avenue.
The decor, by Scher, was designed to remind a patron of a city alley, complete with graffiti splattered walls and replicas of fire escapes, a stoop, cobblestones and street furniture inside the restaurant.
Prior to starting Burger Time, Scher was a partner in a French bistro called “Affair” on Manhattan’s Lower East Side. He was also an electrician for many years and a partner in The Stand on Paulding Avenue.
During an interview after Burger Time opened he said that he always enjoyed serving people in his restaurant because he could tell when they left happy, and seeing that gave him a special feeling. Oftentimes as an electrician, he never got to see whether people enjoyed or appreciated his work, he said.
The décor at Burger Time was inspired by his youth, when he and his friends would hang out in alleyways between buildings.
“It is ironic because he just donated to the fund for the Morris Park Christmas lights,” said Morris Park Community Association president Tony Signorile. “He was a man who was well-known in the community and everyone loved him.”
Signorile said that he had just visited Burger Time and was chatting with Scher on Thursday, Nov. 8, and described the loss as a “a large blow to the community.”
Scher’s son Michael said that he was always looking for ways to be successful in business, in addition to his career as an electrician
“I hadn’t seen him this happy in a long-time because he had the new restaurant and it was just doing so well,” said Michael Scher. “He was finally successful. He had a couple of ventures which did not go well over the years. That’s the irony of it. He had this business that was doing well, and it was flourishing, and then this happened.”
Besides his son, Scher is survived by his daughter Jennifer and three grandchildren, as well as his ex-wife Sharon Scher.
It is not yet clear what the fate of the restaurant will be, his son said.
Scher was waked at Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home on Wednesday, Nov. 13, with cremation following.