The Carnegie Deli is closing at the end of the year, they were told this morning employees of the iconic Midtown restaurant.
Marian Harper Levine restaurant owner said his staff will keep an open charcuterie until 31 December, so you can make suggestions through the holiday season.
“In the future, Marian Harper hopes to keep his father’s legacy alive, focusing on licensing the iconic brand Carnegie Deli and selling their products world famous for wholesale distribution,” said spokeswoman Cristyne Nicholas.
Family Levine has he owned the Carnegie Deli since 1976. It opened in 1937.
The store was closed for nine months in 2015 through an illegal gas connection. It reopened in February with a ceremony involving Mayor de Blasio and pickles to walk.
“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 said. Her family has owned the Carnegie since 1976.
The news will sadden New Yorkers who loved Carnegie Deli’s belt-popping sandwiches and kitschy confines, which boast hundreds of photos of mostly forgotten celebrities — and nostalgia to spare.
In a New York Post essay in December 2015, when the place was temporarily closed following a gas leak, Ted Merwin, author of “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli,” wrote:
“Since 1937, the Carnegie’s skyscraper sandwiches and obnoxious waiters encapsulated the very ethos of excess that characterized New York as a whole.”
Merwin said it would be “tragic” for the city if the Carnegie didn’t reopen.
Unlike at some other famous restaurants that recently closed, Levine had no landlord to blame — she owns the six-story building at 854 Seventh Ave. between West 54th and 55th streets.
But the Carnegie, and Marian, were long under strain.
The dining room shrank when Levine lost her lease on annex space in a building next door a few years ago.
She went through a bitter divorce from ex-husband “Sandy” Levine, who carried on a long-term affair with a former waitress and allegedly stole Carnegie’s pastrami and cheesecake recipes. The recipes were allegedly then used in the girlfriend’s family’s restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.
Two years ago, the restaurant was ordered by a federal court to fork over $2.6 million in back wages to employees who were cheated out of proper pay — which Marian blamed on her ex-husband, whom she accused of embezzlement.
Then, in April 2015, the city shut the Carnegie Deli down for nine months over an illegal gas hookup — which Marian also blamed on Sandy.
The divorce was settled out of court. Terms were not revealed.
Carnegie Deli reopened last February with sidewalk hawkers dressed as pickles. It drew lines around the block and Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted a celebratory photo of a pastrami sandwich.
But now the matzo ball soup’s run dry.
The owner will continue to license Carnegie Deli restaurants in other cities, like Las Vegas and Bethlehem, Pa., and hopes the flagship location can reopen in the future under a similar arrangement.