Legendary Carnegie Deli To Close After 79 Years
It's a sad day for pastrami lovers. The owner of New York's Carnegie Deli—a landmark of the city's dining scene—has announced that it will close up shop for good at the end of 2016. The spot, which is known for its cheesecakes and Jewish culinary staples, first opened in Midtown Manhattan in 1937 and has become a favorite of New Yorkers and out-of-towners alike.
In recent years, the deli has been the subject of a number of setbacks and scandals, the New York Post reports. Last year, the restaurant was shut down for nine months due to a gas hookup that didn't meet the city's standards, to be reopened later to much fanfare, which included lines around the block and a visit from Mayor Bill de Blasio.
Just two years prior, the owners had to pay $2.6 million in back wages to former employees who had brought a lawsuit against the business for unfair payment practices. In addition to the deli's financial and legal struggles, owner Marian Harper Levine and her now ex-husband, who goes by 'Sandy,' recently went through a messy public divorce– which included allegations that Sandy Levine funneled secret recipes to his mistress.
According to Harper Levine, who is 65, the decision to shutter the business was due to age and exhaustion. "At this stage in my life, the early mornings to late nights have taken a toll," she tells the Post.
And while news of the iconic deli's closure will certainly shock and sadden some corned beef devotees, signs of its downfall might have begun to show a few years ago when Levine was forced to reduce the size of the dining room after losing the lease for the space next door.
The silver lining on this sandwich of despair? Levine will continue licensing out Carnegie Delis in locations ranging from Pennyslvania to Las Vegas, so wherever you are, a big, steaming bowl of mahtzo ball soup might not be far.