24 January 2011

Carnegie Deli Endangered

The Carnegie Deli, one of the few Jewish deli standard bearers left in Manhattan, is in danger.

According to the New York Post, the Seventh Avenue institution "has had a cordial, decades-long relationship with adjacent property owner Woodward Affiliates, which has allowed Carnegie to use a portion of its property for $2,500 a month. The extra space allowed the deli to provide seating for up to 200 people, as well as a legally mandated second exit door. Any agreement between Carnegie and Woodward, which owns 200-210 W. 55th St., has to be approved by the city Buildings Department, but just as the two sides were working out a new deal, Woodward balked, Carnegie claims in a Manhattan Supreme Court lawsuit filed last week."

This snag may somehow lead to the closure of Carnegie, though I'm not clear why. Maybe they need those extra 200 seats to survive. Sounds to me that Woodward is just angling for more money. 

I'm not giving up on the Carnegie yet. Both it and its neighbor, Stage Deli, periodically throw up death cries, and usually the issue is somehow resolved. I'm not among those who like to bash the place, saying it's a tourist trap, the service is rude and the prices too high. All of these things are true to an extent, but think of it—the deli is unique and once it's gone, it's gone, and nothing like it is going to come along anytime soon.


Unknown said...

Tourist trap and rude service notwithstanding, the Carnegie is no longer the show-biz hang out that made it a New York institution (and turned it into a tourist trap).

The food et al started going down hill decades ago not long after Leo Steiner died in the late '80s.

I miss what it was, but if it does close I think it's time.

Ed said...

I disagree with this. If the time for these delis is really over, its better for them to go, instead of continuing in a sort of zombie state as tourist traps. Who knows? Maybe whatever replaces it eventually will be a little better.

Brooks of Sheffield said...

There is always the chance that they will improve. However, if they disappear altogether, then that chance is gone forever.