The iconic Jewish deli will shutter after a series of bad breaks
Say goodbye to another New York City icon. The New York Post reports that the Carnegie Deli, which has been slinging pastrami sandwiches and fat slices of cheesecake since 1937, will close by the end of the year. Owner Marian Harper Levine announced the news this morning, telling the Post that “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.”
But unlike other instances of an long-running New York institution shutting its doors—Rizzoli Bookstore, for instance, or Pearl Paint on Canal Street—the closure isn’t necessarily motivated by real estate interests. As the Post points out, the deli’s owners also own the building it’s located in.
Rather, a series of unfortunate events have happened in the past few years, including a 2015 gas leak that temporarily closed the restaurant in 2015; a lawsuit over missing wages owed to employees; and a bitter divorce with Levine’s ex-husband, Sandy.
Though, as Eater points out, the deli has become “a massive tourist trap complete with hokey novelty dishes, inflated prices, and a nonsensical sharing charge,” its place in the canon of New York institutions has long been secured. And no doubt there will be many that eulogize its demise, which comes on the heels of other long-running businesses that have closed this year: Central Art Supply in the Village, Tekserve, Rebel Rebel, and so on.
As for Harper Levine, she plans to “keep her father’s legacy alive by focusing on licensing the iconic Carnegie Deli brand and selling their world-famous products for wholesale distribution,” according to a spokesperson.