According to press reports, Manhattan’s iconic Carnegie Delicatessen will close by the end of the year. A lot of memories coming out of that place. There is still time to go stuff yourself one last time, though…
What are the reasons for its closing?
Articles state the owner wanted to retire…
Only been there twice in my life, but remember both times as it being busy. B-U-S-Y. Wonder why it’s not being sold…
It wouldn’t be a surprise if a bunch of investment bankers or lawyers formed a syndicate to buy the icon as a “lunch room” annex (priority seating) and in-house caterer? They’d get professional managers and keep the doors open.
Yeah…something doesn’t sound right about that, you could get a small fortune for that place. Somethings up.
That’s exactly what I thought.
A medium size fortune even …
Trouble in paradise there for years:
Years and years of family infighting, an ugly divorce, and god knows what else behind the scenes. I will miss it, but I feel worse for the people who worked there. Although it seemed to me that most of the REALLY longtime employees had been let go before the re-opening - all the counterpeople and cashiers and waiters were new.
Wow. What a backstory to this. Thank you for posting, ratgirlagogo.
Someone has probably already signed a lease with the landlord and the Carnegie Deli Too will soon be opened.
Didn’t they close a while back when the sister and brother were at odds with each other and they got shut down for an illegal gas hook up?
My most memorable experience at the Carnegie was about 23 years ago. I was there with my wife, a cousin and his wife and we were walking up to the counter to pay when Richard Lewis was at the counter cussing up a storm. F this and F that… He was pissed his picture was not on the wall.
My cousin a big tall guy throws his arm around Richard and says, hey man isn’t that you, pointing to one of the pictures on the wall, Barry Manilow? Which resulted in a big FU as we spilled out on to the street laughing our asses off.
Yes, see links above. The gas hookup discovered after that big disaster on East 7th Street where two people died, so there was a push to do a lot of sudden spot inspections. And it was husband and wife, actually, again see links.
Anybody actually been to Carnegie lately? Like in the last couple of years?
Quality has really slipped.
Food kinda sux (matso balls immense and flavorless, pastrami portion large but very fatty and lukewarm). It’s also filthy. And it, like everything else on the Isle of Manhatta, is over run with tourists.
I actually got sick the last time I ate there, which was before the gas leak. and I won’t be going back.
They are outside the circle of trust:
I’ve been going to Katz and Pastrami Queen for my fix. The quality is there.
Even though it’s not strictly speaking Pastrami, I also really, really, really like the Montreal smoked meat at Mile End in Brooklyn:
Carnegie was retailing Pastrami a couple of years ago through Costco.
The trade names are protected and they have a couple of satellite restos.
My expectation is that this is a prime franchising opportunity, and that someone will eventually step in and do just that.
Remember Pizzeria Uno a couple of years ago?
Yes, because I have a friend who lives nearby and sometimes I get takeout on my way home. I never get anything but pastrami and matzoh ball soup and I agree the quality has dropped and the prices have gone up. Katz’s and Pastrami Queen both have good pastrami but I don’t like the matzoh ball soup at either.
You may want to give the matzo ball soup at Mile End a try. It won a taste off at Bon Appetit in 2011:
I always used to like the Carnegie version, but as I have gotten older it doesn’t like me as well. The Carnegie matzo balls are pretty substantial and difficult to digest. Mile End’s are lighter and more flavorful. I also find the ME broth better.
While both Carnegie and ME have big matzo balls, I have also run into versions with more, but smaller matzo balls and more veg which I like better than the big balls.
And happy New Year to you!
Here’s the NYFishwrap report:
As for franchising, the two Pizzeria Uno franchises we tried a long time ago (2000 miles apart) were inexcusably pale shadows of the real deal at Uno (and its nearby sibbling Pizzeria Due); and that’s the challenge for Carnegie if it means to make a bidnez of the brand . . . who’s gonna make the pastrami, supply the bread, improve the matzo ball to Viking’s standards?
Our enduring memory of Carnegie is over (way, way over) a decade old: the Asian waitress asked the next table in perfect NuYawk cadence and accent if they were done with that. Don’t remember the table having the presence of mind to ask for a couple more slices of bread to go into the bag with the unfinished pastrami sandwich (because who wants that much meat in a sandwich). What a great country this was then.
We really miss Marvin’s on Ave. J in Brooklyn where the pastrami was made in the basement and when branding wasn’t a bidnez.
Yep. And yet for a while they were opening stores everywhere. I remember a CH post from the 1990s where Uno was voted best pizza in Jersey.
Then they kinda platzed.
It remains to be seen what might happen to Carnegie, since their sandwiches are expensive to produce and I’m not sure deli has legs anymore outside of Florida. Other than Mile End I just haven’t seen any new ones opening here.
But I am sure there are investors plotting as we write this.
Both Carnegie and Stage flopped in Century City decades ago, so expansion is tricky. But then, LA has always known, and still does know delis (Brent’s, Famous, Langer’s, Greenblatt’s, to name a few).