Lansky’s, the popular Jewish-style deli on Columbus Avenue between 70th and 71st Streets, was the victim of a strange and disturbing overnight attack that will keep the restaurant closed for at least two days. Owner David Ruggerio told us that someone wrenched open the restaurant’s sliding doors and broke in after closing time on Tuesday, and then went on a rampage. The person or people wrote on the walls, smashed every computer in the restaurant, broke all the refrigerators in the basement, smashed the old-fashioned toilets in the bathrooms, and stole money from the register.
“They did utterly destroy the restaurant,” Ruggerio said. “Basically anything they could break they smashed.”
As to what was written on the walls, Ruggerio would not say.
“They wrote ugly stuff. I find it offensive. Someone coming in and wanting to destroy our place and steal, that’s one issue. But there’s no reason to deface a place of business.”
NYPD Detective Brian Sessa told us that police are classifying the break-in as a burglary and had not caught anyone as of Wednesday night. The cash register was removed and the amount of money taken was “undetermined,” he said.
Restaurant workers immediately started trying to fix the place back up, but it won’t reopen until Friday night at the earliest, Ruggerio said.
Ruggerio said that Lansky’s has been broken into three times in the past six weeks. A man and woman were apparently arrested for one of the prior break-ins.
“It doesn’t deter us,” he said. “We’ll return better than before. We feel we’re a part of the neighborhood. We feel very welcomed by the neighborhood. We’ll return better than ever.”
We can’t urge you enough to support this business. As soon as it reopens, the lines should be out the door.
Thanks to Michael for the tip and photo.