NY Times on Demise of the 2nd Ave. Deli

The NY Times reports,

The Second Avenue Deli has survived turbulence and tragedy in its 51 years. The decline of the Jewish enclave on the Lower East Side did not kill it. The broad-daylight murder of its beloved founder, Abe Lebewohl, in a robbery in 1996 shut it down but briefly. Dietary fashion campaigns against artery-clogging fare like brick-thick pastrami sandwiches and fat-saturated potato latkes seemed only to make the lines of defiant fans longer.
The Second Avenue Deli at Tenth Street, which has been a gastronomical and cultural fixture on the Lower East Side for half a century, may go out of business.
But the deli seems to have met its match in that implacable beast, the real estate market.
On Sunday, facing a $9,000 increase in his $24,000-a-month base rent, the deli’s owner, Jack Lebewohl, Abe’s brother, pulled down the grates on the glimmering restaurant at East 10th Street and Second Avenue. The closing was described as temporary, but Mr. Lebewohl said yesterday that the next time the place opens it might very well be to clear out.
The rent increase is actually built into the lease that Mr. Lebewohl negotiated with the previous owners 15 years ago. The new owners have volunteered to come down $3,000 in the new rent, but no further.
“If I don’t get this resolved in x number of days,” Mr. Lebewohl said, “I’ll vacate.” He declined to say what “x” equaled but implied that it was a one-digit number. “Less than weeks,” he said.
And so the mourning has begun.

In response, one New Yorker, Dan Greenberg, has started an online petition imploring Lebewohl’s landlords to reconsider their rent hike. Concerned Jewish foodies can sign the petition here.

2 thoughts on “NY Times on Demise of the 2nd Ave. Deli

  1. The times actually reports? when did this happen? 🙂
    Seriously, losing Second Ave Deli and McHale’s in the same month is atrocious.

  2. Open 52 years – gone in a week. Went by there last night – the place has been completely emptied out… signs are down, everything was packed up inside… As though it was never there…

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