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Carnegie Deli Is Dying of Neglect

The owners of Carnegie Deli are letting the 78-year-old restaurant wither on the vine.

[Carnegie Deli in 2012]
[Carnegie Deli in 2012]
Photos by Bess Adler

Midtown's famed Carnegie Deli closed in April after ConEd workers found an illegal gas connection in the restaurant. Now owner second generation-owner Marian Harper Levine tells the Post: "Unfortunately, we do not have a clear date of reopening at this time and had expected to reopen this month...There was a setback in a recent inspection where more work was required to bring the Carnegie Deli up to code." The restaurant has not had a gas authorization test, which it needs before it can get approval from the Department of Buildings, and ConEd can't turn on the gas until it gets a thumb's up from the city.

Unemployment insurance for the restaurant's workers is about to run out. A server tells the Post: "If you have a restaurant that makes the money that that restaurant makes, you should have people working there 24 hours a day fixing it, but they don’t." Carnegie still has a wholesale operation based in New Jersey.

To further complicate matters, Harper Levine just wrapped up a nasty divorce with her ex-husband/business partner Sanford, who was caught cheating with an employee several years back. The gas hook-up found its way into the divorce proceedings, with a judge remarking: "Somebody did something to these gas pipes that would have caused people to die for the sake of making some bucks." The Post reports that Sanford settled the divorce in September, before he was supposed to take the stand and talk about the gas situation. Last year, the duo was forced to fork over $2.65 million to employees that were cheated out of their wages. Meanwhile, the tenants in the building still don't have any gas or hot water.

Carnegie Deli

854 7th Avenue, New York, NY 10019-5216 Visit Website

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