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.

Story updated here.

“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.

FOOD, NEWS | 17 comments | permalink
    1. Christine E. says:

      Terrible thing that happened. But who leaves money in a cash register? Every business I know and have ever worked for empties and counts and deposits or locks in a safe each night.

    2. We at Lanskys were sadden to find our beloved restaurant vandalized Tuesday night. I just wanted to take this moment to sincerely thank the Police Department and the community. The community on the Upper West Side are the best. They could not be more supportive and helpful.
      Thank you all
      David Ruggerio

      • westSider says:

        David – Any idea of who did this?

        Inside job?

        or another system of the deterioration of our west side neighbhorhood at the hands of politicians who encourage the worst elements to settle and stay here.

    3. Beth says:

      Terrible! My mom loved Lansky’s (she passed away recently). I hope they’ll be back in business soon.

    4. Angela says:

      So sorry to hear this! We will be there to support you guys and hope that whoever did this, will get what they deserve. That’s such a shame….

    5. Peter Monte says:

      I am sure it has nothing to do with all the money he owes vendors and the staff …. the place is a joke

      • nycworkingman says:

        just what they don’t want you to know…Ruggerio has a reoccuring history… padding bills, JALAPENO IN BANKRUPTCY, stiffing vendors, workers, current lawsuits.Its only a matter of time till it comes to Bombolini and Lansky’s. Crooks often attract shady happenings. Give your money to positive UWS restauranteurs, not this crook.

        • peter monte says:

          Just wait lansky’s will be fileing next you can look on public record on lines the taxes he ows on the place

    6. Scooter Stan says:

      Re: “westSider’s” nasty “or another system of the deterioration of our west side neighbhorhood at the hands of politicians who encourage the worst elements to settle and stay here.”

      Not sure what you mean by “deterioration of our west side….” since, from personal observation, NOTHING seems deteriorated. New buildings like The Laureate and The Corner are tremendously successful; new restaurants open constantly and the existing ones are always busy; there are very few empty storefronts; and the sidewalks are always bustling with activity. If that is “deterioration” it sure feels great!

      As far as your anti-government “at the hands of politicians” … the people you smear as “politicians” are decent people who want to help their neighborhood thrive and who are willing to give up their personal lives to spend their days and evenings connecting with their constituents. IF YOU DISAGREE WITH THEIR DECISIONS GET INVOLVED AND ATTEND THEIR PUBLIC MEETINGS. EXPRESS YOUR OPINION IN A DEMOCRATICALLY-RUN PUBLIC FORUM. Remember what Eleanor Roosevelt said about lighting a candle versus cursing the darkness.

      And your reference to “the worst elements” is horrible. WHEN DID THE UPPER WEST SIDE BECOME SNOBBY AND UNACCEPTING OF PEOPLE WHO ARE POOR, UNEDUCATED, AND PERHAPS IN NEED OF PROFESSIONAL CONSELLING. Sounds more like you belong on the Upper East Side. Perhaps you should go before we become more “deteriorated”.
      Oh, and re: “another system of the deterioration” … YOU DID MEAN “SYMPTOM” DIDN’T YOU????

      • anitScooter says:

        Eleanor Roosevelt ? you mean the lesbian who sat silent while her husband allowed the Jews of Europe to be murdered without lifting a finger?

        typical head in the sand ultra left wing response.

        as for the west side, do you walk the streets? I see detioration everyday in that I cannot walk a block of broadway without being harrassed by vagrants.

        and how about some sympathy and outrage for the owners of this solid taxpaying employing business that was destroyed by somebodies…..

        or you can stay in your limo on your way to your Hamptons house

      • Amy says:

        Thank you Stan!

    7. Richard C says:

      Totally destroyed and open in two days

    8. patsy says:

      I feel terrible for this sweet restaurant. i will definitely be back to support them.

    9. newposter says:

      Did you get a sense what was written on the walls? That would surely be a clue as to who did this. Was it personal against the owners or anti-semitic?

    10. Henry says:

      I am not a regular, but I was walking by today and the manager was outside, watching repairs an speaking with people from the neighborhood. Nobody, no place of business should be subject to such acts.