They have been opened since 1937, after nearly 80 years, the iconic Carnegie Deli will close it’s Midtown location December 31. Owner Marian Harper, 65, family has owned Carnegie Deli since 1976, cited personal reasons for the closure. “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,” she said in a statement. She is keeping the restaurant open through Christmas so that her staff will be able to collect tips during the busy holiday season. Marian owns the building that Carnegie calls home.
The restaurant has been plagued with a series of bad luck. First the famous pastrami and cheesecake recipes were allegedly stolen by Harper’s ex-husband Sandy Levine. Levine allegedly had an affair with a former waitress while still married to Harper, and then gave the recipes to her family’s restaurant in Thailand. Harper accused Levine of embezzlement. Two years ago the restaurant had to pay $2.6million in back wages to employees. In April 2015 the restaurant had to be closed down for nine months after it was revealed the restaurant had been improperly siphoning natural gas for nearly six years. Harper who said she did not know about the illegal gas hookup paid Con Edition more than $40,000. When the restaurant reopened last February, the neighborhood was thrilled and a ceremony attended by Mayor Bill de Blasio celebrated the occasion. Mayor De Blasio after eating a pastrami sandwich called it the “finest’ in New York stating t’his is a quintessential city place, this is an icon.”
The famous restaurant has been a tourist destination for decades, with line around the blocks. Their popular massive sandwiches containing at least 1 pound of meat, as well as traditional Jewish fare such as matzoh ball soup, potato pancakes, chopped chicken livers, and lox. The restaurant also offered cheesecake of different flavors with the portions of over a pound per serving.
Carnegie Deli, Stephen Colbert, Hillary ClintonAllen filmed his 1982 film Broadway Danny Rose at the restaurant and Stephen Colbert picked the location to interview Hillary Clinton, describing it as the place that serves sandwiches ‘as big as a baby’s head’.
Carnegie’s locations in New York’s Madison Square Garden, Las Vegas and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania will all remain open.