Growing up in a Jewish household, I always heard the same questions: Where can you find good bagels? Where can you find good rye bread? And of course, where can you find good pastrami? If New York City’s Katz’s Delicatessen has its way, the answer to that final question will soon be “everywhere around the globe.”
Katz’s Delicatessen has been a neon-accentuated staple of Manhattan’s Lower East Side for generations, originally opening 129 years ago. Tourists and non-crowd-adverse locals still flock to the restaurant to get a taste of its traditional deli-style sandwiches stacked high with cured meats like pastrami and corned beef. In the ‘90s, the brand – which still doesn’t have any other locations, though one is finally set to open in Brooklyn soon – began shipping these products domestically. But according to the Wall Street Journal, Katz’s is finally thinking bigger.
The deli institution plans to open a 30,000-square-foot facility across the Hudson River in Hackensack, New Jersey, as a hub to ship its meats to places as far flung as Pakistan and Colombia (which, to be fair, I can only assume would be on my grandparents’ list of places where you cannot find good pastrami). Though in the short term, Katz’s says it will be focusing a bit closer to home: The company hopes that shipping to Canada and Mexico will be up and running by the end of this year.
Meanwhile, Katz’s is also considering a further American takeover in the form of more restaurants in other US cities. Boston, Philadelphia and Washington, DC, have all been floated as possible targets for Katz’s Delicatessen’s expansion. Of course, part of what kept the original location so famous is that it was also the setting for Meg Ryan’s famous fake orgasm scene in the movie When Harry Met Sally. It would take a lot of When Harry Met Sally sequels to get that kind of hype at Katz’s spinoffs around the country. But then again, if Katz’s can think bigger, maybe Billy Crystal and Meg Ryan can too.