Carnegie Deli, New York’s storied deli located in midtown Manhattan since 1937, is closing at the end of the year, the New York Post reported on Friday. And, well, it’s a shame, if only because delis are warm, comfortable places to stuff your face, and Carnegie Deli is such a place, and maybe the best when it comes to providing sandwiches that are stacked as high as one’s wrist from the elbow, or as wide as an oval plate allows.
In a sense, the restaurant’s closing is but another notch in the “everything changes” cap that New York wears like an immovable crown. In another sense, as Eater put it, the closing marks the end of an arduous period for the deli.
[C]arnegie Deli has faced a number of setbacks and scandals over the last few years— including a year-long closure due to an illegal gas hook-up, a wage lawsuit filed by staffers, and the messy divorce of its owner and her husband, who was cheating with a waitress while allegedly helping her open a rogue location of the deli in Thailand. And now, proprietor Marian Harper Levine is deciding to throw in the towel. The second generation deli owner broke the news to employees this morning. Harper tells the Post’s Steve Cuozzo: “At this stage of my life, the early mornings to late nights have taken a toll, along with my sleepless nights and grueling hours that come with operating a restaurant business…..I’m very sad to close the Carnegie Deli but I’ve reached the time of my life when I need to take a step back.”
Who knows what’ll take its place. Maybe a Starbucks or a Juice Press or something anodyne that fades into the street facade. But one thing is for sure, Adam Sandler’s “Hanukkah Song” will now need some revised lyrics. Or, screw it, let his lyrics stand on their own and give the deli a place in musical lore where it can remain in perpetuity.
Oh, and why not. Here’s Steven Colbert interviewing Hillary Clinton at Carnegie Deli just months ago:
Related: Pastrami: The Sound and the Fury