HOLD THE PASTRAMI: CARNEGIE DELI IS CLOSING!

No, the Carnegie Deli not technically on the Upper West Side, but it’s close enough that you can smell the pastrami. And the iconic deli on 55th and 7th, which opened in 1937, is closing at the end of this year, the Post reports.

But don’t blame the landlord this time: the deli owner also owns the building.

Restaurant owner Marian Harper Levine broke the news to 60 heartbroken employees on Friday morning.

Levine, 66, said, “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,” Levine said. Her family has owned the Carnegie since 1976.

Photo by Scott Beale/Laughing Squid.

    1. JR says:

      The real reason for the closure is past scandals (a $2.65 million settlement they entered into cheating workers out of proper wages for at least a decade), a bitter divorce between Levine and her husband and an illegal gas line hookup that closed the restaurant for months.

    2. Leon says:

      Why not just hire a good manager and take a back seat? Article fails to mention the multiple problems this deli has had in past years, including a multi-million $ fine for cheating it’s workers, a bitter family divorce and illegal gas line hookup that closed the restaurant for months. Questionable ethics, but great pastrami. It will be missed.

    3. Jack NYC says:

      Surprised she can’t sell the business: such a great brand and loyal following.

    4. Rodger Lodger says:

      Mr. Levine is a true hero, saving hundreds of lives.

    5. Sue L says:

      Surely Ms. Levine could find a buyer willing and able to preserve the name, tradition, and the amazing food and staff?!

      The Rag’s headline is apt–it may be heresy, but Katz’s pastrami can’t hold a (Shabbos) candle to theirs!

    6. Jp says:

      I won’t miss it. Tourist trap with overpriced overstuffed sandwiches. If you sanely decide to share one the deli charges a share fee. Sorry people will be losing their jobs but the establishment itself, good riddance. PS – if you’re jonesing for great deli food go to the 2nd Ave. Deli.

      • JS says:

        I feel the same way you do. I’m not nostalgic. The problems mentioned probably have a lot to do with it.

    7. David says:

      Sorry to say so, but Carnegie’s halcyon days have come and gone! The place just has not been nearly what it was when Milt and Max ran it! The sandwiches have diminished in size, but more importantly, the quality of the food just is not what it used to be. A brisket of beef on rye in the old days……ahhhh, yes, THAT was a “sen-a-vich!”

    8. Sherman says:

      There’s always Fine & Scapiro.

    9. Carlos says:

      Bowser from Sha-na-na and Arthur Fonzarelli will be upset

    10. drg says:

      It obviously IS the landlord’s fault!!!

      He can rent it for an astronomical fee to a different business, that would probably net more than his deli.

      I’m sure financially it makes sense to “break” his own lease, rather than sell the business…cause the new “owners” of the deli probably couldnt afford the rent he will charge.

      • B.B. says:

        *Sigh*

        Do some homework, owners of the Carnegie Deli *are* the landlords of that building, they own the property.

        Mark my words; 854 Seventh Avenue (the Carnegie Deli building) and 856 Seventh Avenue(building on corner) occupy corner lots and are the last two “low rise” buildings on that block. CD building will likely go up for sale with someone angling to get both lots. If they can nab the low rise building in back of 856 Seventh (on West 55th) that brings even more fun to the party.

        Do the sums; corner lots not far from “Billionaires Row” equals a whole lot of money for person or persons if they can play the game right.

    11. manhattan mark says:

      The Carnegie Deli does have it’s identity on the Upper West Side. It was owned by the Hudee family whose original
      deli was on Broadway and 103rd Street. Post WWII the sons
      were running the Carnegie and their parents continued
      running their Hudee’s,

      • dannyboy says:

        You and B.B. just gotta’ have a ‘shootout’ on All Things West Side.

        I’ll moderate, as I am always objective, level-headed and fair. Honest is my policy.

    12. hanna altman says:

      oh no pls leave it to someone who can carry on.

    13. UWSHebrew says:

      Meh. Won’t be missed. For the pastrami aficionado, I recommend 2nd Ave Deli. Best pastrami I’ve had, beats Katz’s, Fine/Schapiro, Pastrami Queen, Carnegie and others.

    14. Irma says:

      It was never the same after Leo Steiner died.

    15. Chip says:

      I simply cannot understand why the current ownership is not able to sell this long-time institution and tourist destination. Can it be that the business is tied to too many litigations?

    16. B.B. says:

      Not surprised current owner is “tired”, the place has had no end of scandal and legal woes the past few years. This includes being shut down for much of 2015 over an illegal gas connection that cost Carnegie Deli over $40k to ConEdison. During that time their tenants above the shop had no gas for cooking.

      Place had been resting on reputation for some time now; tourists (of which there is no shortage of in that area) loved the place. For us NYC locals Katz’s down on Ludlow and East Houston was and is streets better.

    17. David Collins says:

      Where do you guys go for breakfast on the UWS? Need some suggestions. 70s or low 80s.

    18. Mj says:

      2nd Ave Deli has been closed for years!!!

    19. Kimberly Harstad says:

      I have boycotted this restaurant for years. First time, while visiting with my European in-laws, an 18% tip was added to our bill for 3 persons. When I inquired why, I was told by the waitperson, “because Europeans don’t tip”. Nowhere on the menu or bill was this written. Then, when working as a volunteer with the Red Cross at ground zero, they charged other Red Cross volunteers (who had come to VOLUNTEER from all over the country), an exorbitant fee for splitting plates. (They were in their uniforms.) Geeezzzz… good riddance!

      • manhattan mark says:

        BB, Thanks for the update. My memory is telling me that
        Carnegie did open in LA and Vegas, but had trouble with
        the bagels and I think with Pastrami because of the water.
        Apparently water is different in the west and the food that
        is cooked in it can taste differently . You are very good at
        fact checking…please feel free to check my memory. Thanks.

        • B.B. says:

          There is nothing like NYC tap water! *LOL*

          It is one of the reasons you cannot get a true New York City bagel anywhere else. Oh people try from Philly to Boca to LA, but never quite hit the mark.

          As for CD, it will be interesting to see how or if the idea plays out. Owner is on record saying she wasn’t looking for a RE payout (closing the deli and selling property), so it would seem a smart business move. That is providing the investors/financing is can be put together and is solid along with any plan.

          OTOH it just could call the owner’s bluff. Everyone sitting on NYC real estate in particular Manhattan atm knows what they’ve got. They also know this red hot market for property (regardless of what the new owner does or does not do with it), won’t go on forever.

          Have to think of the kids and grandkids. Do they want to be “owners” of that property. Or would they be better off if the thing is sold and some proceeds come there way.

          • dannyboy says:

            “their” way

            just an excuse to let you know that i continue to read your Comments as a central component of my lifelong education.

            “m m” seems sharp too.

            • manhattan mark says:

              The kids and grandkids will be much better off if they inherit
              the building, thats how dynasties are born. I’m sure it’s a lot
              more fun collecting free market and commercial rent than
              making sandwiches.