05 January 2007

The 33rd Street Deli?

The Second Avenue Deli, which shut down suddenly a year ago, may rise again. But it won't be on Second Avenue. And Jack Lebewohl won't be running it.

The New York Sun (which has been on this story like a cheap suit) reports that the legendary pastrami house may reopen way uptown in Murray Hill—162 E. 33rd Street near Third, far from Yiddish Broadway. (No Yiddish Theatre Walk of Fame then, anymore, huh?)

Jack's 26-year-old son Joshua Lebewohl is the one getting the thing going again. His application for a liquor license was approved back in November. Like his pa, Joshua is a lawyer. Jack is the brother of founder Abe Lebewohl, who was murdered in front of the store in 1996. Day-to-day operations, meanwhile, will be handled by another family member "who currently owns a bagel store." (A bagel store in New York—Oh! That place!)

And the name of the place? Not decided. Also unresolved is if the place will be kosher. The original purported by be kosher, but stayed open on Friday nights, the Jewish sabbath, so you be the judge.

It would be nice if this came to pass. But, let's face it, whatever opens on 33rd Street, it won't be the Second Avenue Deli, no more than the Lindy's on Broadway is the real Lindy's. The deli was of its neighborhood, of its time.

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