Say it ain’t so

Second Avenue Deli may be closing its doors for good:

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.

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.

Last May, I wrote about the near-religious experience I had there back in February 2005.

(Via A.C. Douglas. You might need a password to view the Times article.)

About Walter Biggins

Walter Biggins is a writer based in Athens, GA. His work has been published in RogerEbert.com, Bookslut, The Comics Journal, Salon, The Baseball Chronicle, Jackson Free Press, and Valley Voices: A Literary Review. Follow him on Twitter (@walter_biggins), and check out his bimonthly newsletter (https://tinyletter.com/Walter_Biggins).
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