Carnegie Deli — one of America’s most famous Jewish delis and home of the extra-thick pastrami sandwich and fresh-made bagels with lox — will be closing at the end of 2016. Owner Marian Harper Levine made the shocking announcement to her employees last Friday.
Carnegie will close its doors for good Dec. 31, although its branches in Las Vegas and Pennsylvania will still remain in operation.
“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 told the New York Post. Her family has owned Carnegie Deli since 1976, although the deli itself has been in operation since the Great Depression in 1937.
Carnegie Deli has had a tumultuous history of operation. Just last year, the deli was shut down for nine months after Con Edison found that it had been illegally siphoning gas. The deli just reopened in February of this year, and, at the time, Levine seemed adamant about its return, telling The New York Times, “As long as I’m breathing, this place was going to reopen.”
Before that, the deli had been haunted by a nasty divorce settlement a few years ago that shrank the dining room, and was ordered in court to settle a $2 million lawsuit to disgruntled employees for unpaid wages.
“Moving forward, Marian Harper hopes to keep her father’s legacy alive by focusing on licensing the iconic Carnegie Deli brand and selling their world-famous products for wholesale distribution,” her spokesperson, Cristyne Nicholas, told the New York Post.
In 2014, Carnegie Deli made the No. 2 spot on The Daily Meal’s 10 Best Jewish Delis list.