ARTIE’S DELI CLOSES SUDDENLY AFTER 18 YEARS

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Artie’s Delicatessen at 2290 Broadway between 82nd and 83rd Street closed its doors for good on Wednesday after 18 years, leaving the neighborhood with an overstuffed case of emotional heartburn.

“This is a major loss for the neighborhood,” wrote Jeff, a customer who told us about the closing.

arties ownArtie’s was opened by the family of legendary Upper West Side restaurateur Artie Cutler in 1999, after Artie himself had died in 1997. It was Jewish-style but not Kosher (corned beef, chopped liver and…shrimp scampi).

But the new owner had gotten into financial trouble recently, filing for bankruptcy last year. George, an employee at the restaurant, told us that the staff was stunned and upset about the closure, and anxious about getting their paychecks. There are about 70 employees at the restaurant, George said. “A lot of them have families, a lot of them are working other jobs.” (We were unable to get in contact with the current owner through another restaurant he owns in midtown.)

George said that current employees would love to find a way to reopen somewhere else in the neighborhood. But at least for now, goodbye Artie’s.

“So sad to see Artie’s go,” wrote Jenny Davidoff Cook. “For eighteen years it had been our go-to place for matzo ball soup when any of us were sick. We will definitely miss it!”

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Thanks to Ed, Jeff, Taryn, Francine, and others for the tips.

FOOD, NEWS, OPEN/CLOSED | 106 comments | permalink
    1. Charles says:

      No surprise at $21.00 for a sandwich.

    2. Bobby says:

      (((((Vibes)))))

    3. lynn says:

      Sad to see Artie’s go. I thought their prices were comparable to the other deli’s in the area. I hope they can reopen somewhere else in the neighborhood. So do you think another restaurant will be opening in their place?

    4. Theodore says:

      It was only for tourists and served no discernible purpose for bona fide upper west siders. You can get a much better meal at Cafe 82 and they are so nice there. Loyal employees, loyal clientele.

      • Cato says:

        Huh?? I like Cafe 82 but they don’t do pastrami like Artie’s did.

        We’ve been eating there since they opened. Only for tourists? No way.

      • lynn says:

        I’ve eaten their regularly and so has my boss and his family. The portions were extremely generous and as I mentioned the prices were comparable to other delis in the neighborhood. I’ve never been to Cafe 82 so I bookmarked it, and the menu looks adequate (but no matzo ball soup or potato pancakes). Who has the best potato pancakes???

      • Mark says:

        Sorry Theodore but you’re just plain wrong.
        Tons of UWSers ate there regularly.

      • RK says:

        Cafe 82 is a classic coffee shop not a jewish deli. Comparison is irrelevant

    5. Carlos says:

      Loved the food but it was very expensive and they always seemed stingy about extras. I never understood why they had the bar area. Artie’s will be missed. It was a reliable spot for comfort food. And that is a huge space to fill.

    6. Chef non of ur business says:

      The owner was a horroble person to his employees, i know first hand. Its about time they closed that place

    7. Mark B says:

      I went there once for a sandwich and it was $22… with unfriendly service. Sorry… but although I’ll miss the “brand,” I won’t miss the experience. Next!

    8. Ben says:

      Everyone wanted it to be better than it was. Total rip-off!

    9. steve barron says:

      The panache is gone. Lost the quality and quantity on the table appetizing settings and sandwiches. Prices raised by a third.
      Brought in updates of glass cases with service
      cut backs.

    10. UWcider says:

      I got two words for you: BIG NICKS 🙁

      • Cato says:

        Second!

      • Christina says:

        I know! They were the best! So sad! Same for a number of other places that closed over the years! All State, Cafe La Fortuna, Teachers Too, O’Neils, etc! They were consistent, Great neighborhood places and a mainstay on the Upper West Side! Oh well! All good things must come to an end! Now we are left with….

      • geoff says:

        i’ve thought big nick’s too (71st at columbus) was related to big nicks (broadway). am i wrong?

        why don’t those who miss big nicks go to big nicks too?

        http://www.bignickspizzeria.com/

    11. Sam Mazze says:

      I was shocked to read this posting. The sign on the door said Artie’s was closing for renovations. So when I went by last night and saw refrigerator cases being hauled out, I didn’t turn a hair. My eyebrows went into my hairline when I read your article. And in response to comments below, I would like to say “Yes Cafe 82’s staff is terrific, but the restaurant is not a deli. And we need a deli.”

    12. Fresser says:

      Their pastrami was worth its weight in good. Heartbreaking (even if good for the arteries)!

    13. David Stone says:

      I’m bummed about the closure, but I’d be even sadder if they had had pieces of chicken in their chicken noodle soup.

    14. David says:

      Mark
      Maybe some day you will own something so we can say the same kind words about you!

    15. Jimbo says:

      No Katz’s–that’s for sure…

    16. Jerry says:

      When winter winds are blasting off the Hudson River, Artie’s lunchtime special of a generous bowl of matzo ball soup and an overstuffed half sandwich of corned beef was the perfect remedy. Service was always prompt and professional and the price was OK. I will miss it.

    17. CJ Berk says:

      Several years ago I got food poisoning from their “comfort” food. It was chicken in the pot and I was sick for 2 days. Never went back.

    18. Melanie says:

      Hadn’t been there in a few years. Surprisingly went Wednesday night. The food was inedible. Threw out $30 worth of food with the intention of calling them to complain. Guess that won’t happen now.

    19. Kathleen says:

      I miss what Artie’s was before it was sold. The new owner really changed the atmosphere and, though some of the food remained the same, it was never the same place. Still sad to see it go.

    20. Kathleen says:

      Now I’m confused. The sign on the door of the photo above says “Closed for Renovation”. So what’s the real story?

    21. Rodger Lodger says:

      I like the way you just assume two restaurants have the same owner. More likely two owners — corporations. That way even a 100% shareholder of both corps. can shelter one restaurant if the other goes bust.

    22. jezbel says:

      Whether you loved Artie’s or not, losing them is yet another blow to the Upper West Side. Since we’ve moved back into NYC after a long absence it seems like so many old family restaurants have closed their doors, just as they become our favorites. They’re dropping like flies. It’s beginning to look like the UWS of the 1970’s.

      • Christina says:

        jezabel… No! In the 70’s there were a number of neighborhood places that were family owned and decent ones at that! Now it’s looking like a Mall or like the Upper East Side!

      • francis says:

        They had cell phone stores on every other block in the 1970’s ?

      • ScooterStan says:

        Re: “It’s beginning to look like the UWS of the 1970’s.”

        Well…llll…(Jack Benny-style pause) NOT REALLY.

        If you want the {Authentic 1970’s UWS!!!} you would need:
        1. SCARY side-streets where nobody ventured after dark;
        2. Parked cars with big “NO RADIO” signs on the still-intact side windows;
        3. Other parked cars with smashed-in side windows b/c the “perp” either couldn’t read or thought the glove-box was a good alternate;
        4. half-hour waits for a demoralized pair of beat-cops to answer your ’emergency’;
        5. et-ceterah…et-ceterah…et-cetera

        1970’s anyone ????????

        • jezbel says:

          UWS of 1973,4,5,6 was a blighted area of empty storefronts, scary Amsterdam Ave above 79th St. locksmiths, nut shops, family owned pharmacies, but no restaurants except for the great little diners on every corner run but hard-working Greek families. And the produce stands. The only good deli was Zabars and Barney Green grass. Right now there are as many muggings on side streets and slashings in the subways as there were when the City went broke and fired cops under Abe Beame!

          • EricaC says:

            If like to see the statistics supporting the statement that those crimes are back at 1970s levels. I know that a lot of people feel that way, but I think that reflects the internet echo-chamber more than statistical reality.

            I didn’t arrive until the 1980s, when things were already on their way up, and my recollection was that I think was still much worse than it is now. It is shocking and distressing to see any falling back, but I think we are still doing better. I remember Morningside Park so dangerous that people died there routinely, and today families are still there. I remember being followed down the street by leering, grasping “gentlemen” and being warned to stay off side streets after dark and I see very little walking my dogs around at all hours now (the worst I’ve seen has been way too much pot smoking in public, which I do not approve of, but is not exactly violent).

            Perhaps we should start having “take back the night” matches as we did back then, to discourage violent behavior by simply being there.

          • Christina says:

            jezabel… Wrong again. I don’t know where you lived on the Upper West Side in the 70’s but there were a number of family owned restaurants and pubs around. For example… The LIbrary, Teachers, Dianes Burgers, The Only Child, All State Cafe, Cafe La Fortuna, The Burger Joint, The Pizza Joint, Big Nicks, Ginger Man, Houlihans, V&T Pizza, Cafe Des Artists, Mikels, The Cellar, Under the Stairs, Victor’s Cafe, Captain Nemo’s(although not a mom and pop), Maxwell’s Pub, Symposium, New Shun Lee, Tip Top Inn, At Our Place/Cleopatra’s Needle, tons of chinese/cuban estaurants and the list goes on! So jezebel sorry to burst your nostalgic bubble!

    23. Bob Lamm says:

      I always had good food and good service at Artie’s. I loved their matzoh ball soup and their pastrami. I’m really sad to read that Artie’s is gone.

    24. Dancy Nrew says:

      I went there once, and ordered a BLT (I seem to recall). I took two bites and then discovered thin cardboard inside the sandwich. Like the kind a cereal box or something is made of. I told the waiter and they didn’t charge me for my CBLT. Never went back. (How can anyone be so inattentive that cardboard ends up in a sandwich?)

    25. BM says:

      Fine and Shapiro on W 72 is a great option for sandwiches and soups.

      • EricaC says:

        I agree – I think their pastrami is delicious. The sandwiches are well filled, but normal sized – so the price is more reasonable too. More than I can eat in a sitting, but not enough to feed a family of four.

    26. Carol says:

      Their prices kept getting higher and higher to the point that it was easy for me to go elsewhere to eat.

    27. Doug Garr says:

      Artie’s was not open for 18 years. I moved to my present location around the block on West End Ave right after New Year’s Day in 2000. Artie’s did not open until well later, maybe even a year after. So do the math.

    28. AC says:

      This place used it’s political connections to the max. The only ‘deli’ along that stretch of B’way that was able to extend its frontage that far into the sidewalk. Sorry to hear it go, but in times of overcrowding, certainly looking forward to the additional sidewalk space.

      • Cato says:

        In its heyday (admittedly long gone), Artie’s needed the additional space to serve your neighbors. There were waits to get a table anywhere inside.

        Now, you may get your precious sidewalk space back, but at the expense of yet another vacant storefront. To say nothing of the loss of a pastrami house.

        So enjoy standing in the vacant sidewalk space looking at the vacant storefront.

    29. Susan says:

      WHAT is happening to the UWS?!? So many closed businesses!! While I thought their prices were high, they were the only place to find a good pastrami sandwich. With the loss of Carnegie Deli, do we have to go all the way to the Lower East Side to find real deli food? So Sad!!

    30. Howard Freeman says:

      Never a fan, but sorry to see the neighborhood lose it.

    31. UWSmaven says:

      I loved it conceptually and before it was sold a few years ago, but it never seemed to regain its traction. “Kosher-style” delis are closing all over the city (including the venerable Carnegie) but to me, the combination of changing eating habits, the high-cost and lower quality were really noticeable in the last few years. Visit Sarge’s at 35th and Third to see what Artie’s might have been… Sad to lose a neighborhood institution nonetheless.

    32. Tom says:

      Food quality had gone downhill in the past few years

    33. Rochelle Katzman says:

      I mentioned last week that the former site of Food Emporium on 90 and broadway will definitely be a bed, bath and beyond scheduled to open in September
      Spoke with construction crew

      • Dancy Nrew says:

        I heard the same, it’s going to be a BB&B.
        I also heard that the empty storefront on the NW corner of 96th and WEA is going to be a Mexican restaurant, according to one of the construction guys.

    34. JonJones says:

      COMMENTERS: PLEASE ADVISE WHERE WE CAN PURCHASE GOOD MATZO BALL SOUP AND PASTRAMI SANDWICHES IN THE AREA… THANKS.

      • Cato says:

        Zabars’ made-to-order meat sandwiches are not bad, but of course for take-out only. (At the meat-and-prepared-food counter in the back; I don’t know about their cafe’.) Not quite delicatessen style but not far from it, and hot and fresh.

        Their chicken-and-matzoh-ball soup is, well, certainly better than not having chicken-and-matzoh-ball soup.

      • UWSHebrew says:

        Fine & Shapiro has excellent pastrami, and it is kosher. I have yet to find a good matzo ball soup, everything I try does not cut it. 2nd Avenue deli on the Upper East Side is the best pastrami I have ever had, but maybe that is because I only eat kosher red meat.

        • Cato says:

          But … but … but… if you “only eat kosher red meat”, why are you even interested in matzo ball soup? There’s no red meat in that — ??

      • Christine E says:

        Barney Greengrass! 86th and Amsterdam. Matzo ball soup, pastrami, smoked salmon… the trifecta. Cash only.

        • EricaC says:

          I agree with this on the matzoh ball soup – I didn’t know they had pastrami, but we love their soup (and other things we’ve had there). Also, matzoh ball soup is not so hard to make! (Though that doesn’t help when you’re sick or in a hurry, of course.)

      • Mike says:

        Kasbah grill on 85 and Broadway has good soups and deli sandwiches…The ambiance isn’t the best there, but they do give free coleslaw and pickles..Or just do takeout..

    35. Steven says:

      Bad deli. Bye Felecia.

    36. Lisa S Berger says:

      I agree with those who said quality/value/ambiance suffered in recent years. Was there recently for chicken noodle soup. When it was delivered, it didn’t have a single piece of chicken. When I objected, waiter said “what did you expect”. I answered, some chicken in “chicken noodle soup” and he literally laughed in my face. Definitely not like before.

      • Young Sally says:

        Agreed on the soup.

        The best chicken noodle soup I recall was made by Williams BBQ that was on 86th and Bway. Lots of chicken. Great old place. Miss it — but will miss Artie’s Pastrami as well.

    37. Steve says:

      Artie’s was overpriced but the Pastrami was pretty darn good. However, sad to see yet another staple of the neighborhood close.

    38. Leon says:

      Oddly, my favorite item they sold was the potato salad – it was really good and will be missed.

    39. Joe P. says:

      Friendly suggestion: patronize Fine&Shapiro, the remaining UWS kosher deli. (72nd)

    40. joe says:

      The quality of Artie’s took a huge nosedive after it was sold. Prices went up (more so than other Delis) and management went down. There is no other comparable Deli in the neighborhood — Fine and Shapiro’s on 72nd and Deli Kasbah on 85th are Kosher, which means higher prices due to the “kosher tax” (higher meat costs, rabbinic supervision costs, and closed on Fri night/Sat)). For years we had been trekking to Carnegie or across town to Pastrami Queen for good Deli.

    41. GG says:

      Let’s be honest here people….

      This place was awful and in no way represented a good kosher style or Jewish deli. It was purely for tourists who didn’t know any better. Sad that this place was a representation of this amazing kind of food, the food i grew up on. Real Jewish Soul Food this was certainly not.

      If you don’t want to head downtown to Katz’s I would recommend the 2nd Avenue Deli on the UES and if you don’t want to leave the neighborhood, Fine & Shapiro on 72nd. Other than that, I don’t know what to tell you.

      • Mutaman says:

        The food was good, the beer was cold, and they left you alone. For those of you who aren’t upset- you must hang out at Duane Reade or never leave your aprtments.

    42. Lunabee says:

      I loved Artie’s at the turn of the century and not so much in 2017. The place changed dramatically. It felt dirty – floors always slippery, booth seats ripped and never repaired. Waitstaff obnoxious and rude. Food quality went down as well. Too expensive by far. Carnegie Deli prices on the UWS? Pastrami was okay. Corned beef okay. Chicken soup was amazing in the beginning and meh at the end. Just another sad tale about a restaurant that had it all going and lost the path.

    43. nycityny says:

      I ate at Artie’s for the first time in many years on April 7. It had gone way downhill. I ordered oatmeal but they were “out” of it. So I ordered an egg wrap and they were out of wheat or spinach tortillas, left only with plain. I took the plain and the dish was tasteless. My friend said her potato pancakes looked like the frozen variety.

      I walk by Artie’s frequently and it has usually been empty for quite some time. Today’s announcement does not surprise.

      • Cato says:

        Good gawd!! A Jewish deli out of *both* wheat *and* spinach tortillas?

        And their plain tortilla was “tasteless”? How can such things be??

        Is it any wonder they couldn’t sustain their business?

        • UWSHebrew says:

          What’s your point Cato? Your “humor” is lost on all of us, so spell it out.

          • jerry says:

            The point is: why was a kosher-style “Jewish” deli serving tortillas?

            Duh

          • Cato says:

            And who, exactly, authorized you to speak for “all of us”?

            • UWSHebrew says:

              avoiding the question Cato…I’ll ask it again: What was your point in regards to this comment that you made —- “Good gawd!! A Jewish deli out of *both* wheat *and* spinach tortillas? And their plain tortilla was “tasteless”? How can such things be?? Is it any wonder they couldn’t sustain their business?” —-

            • Mark says:

              Hasn’t the poor dead horse been beaten enough?

          • Juan says:

            I think Cato is saying that one does not normally judge a Jewish deli by their tortillas as one does not normally go there to order a tortilla. It would be like going to a Mexican restaurant and judging it on their pastrami. Though one could also argue that if they put it on the menu, it should be good and if they cannot make it well, it should not be on the menu.

            • Jerry says:

              Juan – that was an amazing comparison.
              I really didn’t think I had to be so specific to respond to UWS-Hebrew, but you took the high road and used the type of response I use when speaking to my grade-school kids

    44. Jo Ann says:

      Does this mean the enclosed outdoor cafe on Broadway will finally be dismantled? It blocks the North-South views and takes up precious sidewall real estate. Outdoor cafes are lovely, but building on previous public space is another thing all together.

      • Mutaman says:

        Trying to get my head around the mentality of those bothered by Artie’s sidewalk abutment. “Precious public space”???

        • Cato says:

          Yes. This means that if you’re waddling around outside Chipotle after absorbing your 46-pound mystery-meat burrito, you can’t see the hairdressers standing around smoking outside the salon just south of Artie’s.

          And, after all, isn’t that what “sidewall real estate” is there for??

        • Leon says:

          The sidewalk there is particularly narrow due to how far Artie’s juts out. If there were two older people with walkers passing in opposite directions, there would be no room to get around without walking in the street. (the same applies to two people with strollers but I know everyone here hates strollers)

      • Ian says:

        Sadly, it will be almost impossible to force the removal of the cafe. It should never have been built in the first place – and the majority of the local neighborhood was against it when it was proposed. Artie’s claimed it would be a “hardship” without the additional space, and the cafe was never supposed to be permanent. Personally, I would also like to see it go, but wouldn’t mind a new restaurant with an UNenclosed outdoor cafe in its place.

    45. Red Raleigh says:

      Not surprised. The “original” Arties was good. I grew up in the deli business (NJ) and ate there often. I left the city for a few years and when I came back it was under the new management. I remember thinking – who puts a bar in the middle of a deli? And the prices were crazy. And to those of you who use this as an opportunity to kvetch about how the UWS is changing! Sorry to tell you this but EVERYTHING is changing..all the time. Get used to it.

    46. James Delson says:

      Arties was always a fake. At first it was a decent fake, but is slowly evolved into a low-end, not-even-trying-to-be-a-real-deli location. This may be why, after losing faith in their traditional fare, I began to settle for their overstuffed b.l.t. instead of their less-than-satisfactory deli meats. Cole slaw and pickles remained excellent, but the rest was a mere shadow of the real thing.

    47. Mac says:

      I always hated Artie’s – bad, overpriced food and left a mess on the sidewalk. It’s the rest of the neighborhood that I miss.

    48. Ian says:

      Actually…as some have noted, with the exception of a few things, their food had been going downhill for years, while their prices started reaching the near-ridiculous. And no, “tons” of people did not eat there. In fact, the only regular business they have had of late was weekday lunch (barely half-full, if that), and weekend dinner (maybe 3/4 full). Still, they were really good in their heyday. Sadly, this will leave another “hole” on Broadway – in the form of a massive, permanent enclosed sidewalk cafe.

    49. Aud says:

      Glad to see it go. $1 for an extra piece of rye bread! Phooey.

    50. NYYgirl says:

      Honestly, after the beginning (Bernstein-on-Essex pastrami recipe!!! need I say more?) it wasn’t that great, at all… but there used to be a sweetness to the vibe, whether it was a manufactured vibe or what, that did keep a certain generation (as in my now-gone parent) happy to keep being taken there for a birthday, albeit with all of us appalled at the prices, BUT it was really really really not too clean and the deliveries were so often just wrong with items missing, etc. Now we stay with Katz’s (huge trek but mostly so much better) for the meat – which none of us are supposed to be eating anyway…and most definitely for the potato pancakes. Fine & Schapiro still for old times sake – Dad loved it too- so let’s say those vibes as well, and Zabar’s for so much other. Yes, Zabar’s is in a different category, store wise, but thank God for their longevity. This commenter now would very much like to give a shoutout to the lovely sweet people at Murray`s (Ira & Oscar, who is a fish-cutting artist) on Bway bet 89th & 90th. It may well be the last UWS place (besides F & S) where my parents went, pre-dating me, which is still reliable. I know you can’t eat in, but their chicken soup always makes us feel better about the whole vanishingness of all those UWS places, plus, it’s good! And to have a place which will literally sell me one(!) slice of smoked fish when I want to treat my kids -or myself 🙂 -is beyond irreplaceable!

    51. Effy says:

      Too many food trucks.

    52. yeoldfoghorn says:

      Great black and white cookies.

    53. Tostonesfix says:

      Artie’s arrived the same year I arrived in New York. It opened a week after I moved in. I went there quite a bit when I lived at 85th and Amsterdam. I took my daughter there when she was young. I fully admit to not going there much at all after moving farther uptown. While not a Kosher deli, it was a nice cross between a deli and a diner. I’m sad to see it go. Let’s please all patronize Fine & Schapiro on 72nd. Barney Greengrass will always be there but I worry about Fine & Schapiro.

    54. Marcia Epstein says:

      The food had gotten awful over the past few years.

    55. WestSideDad says:

      My take: Artie’s was always very dirty, and way overpriced, and the food was pretty gross even by UWS deli standards. No big loss. I actually like Viand’s matzoh ball soup, perfectly good (slightly overpriced also). BTW, I once had a take-out experience at Cafe 82 where they forgot the gravy for my mashed potatoes. Some other guy returned with the gravy about 10 minutes later and, I kid you not, it had been urinated in. Needless to say, not high on my personal Zagat’s rating scale!

    56. Clifford says:

      Ever increasing prices and they change of attitude about eating habits

    57. Alan Richter says:

      Dear Fellow Patrons,
      Artie’s was a mainstay in our community for many years. It is unfortunate that the owner experienced financial difficulties.
      Our eateries, mom and pop establishments, and other retail stores are all experiencing financial hardships due to extremely high rents. Unfortunately, we are paying more for everything. Please support our local businesses, BUY LOCAL!!! UWS