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Former Dishwasher Hatches Plan to Save Carnegie Deli

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A new player vies to take over the 79-year-old Midtown institution

[The meat case at Carnegie Deli]
[Bess Adler]

The pastrami-loving world was rocked to its very core on Friday when news broke that Midtown’s famed Carnegie Deli was slated to close up its doors for good at the end of the year. Now, the Daily News reports that a man by the name of Samuel Mussovic — who claims to be a former dishwasher at the restaurant — is launching a campaign to take over the delicatessen with the help of some donations from fans and seed money from investors. Mussovic and his crew are planning to visit the deli today at 2 p.m. to officially launch a "petition drive" and campaign to take over operations at the restaurant.

Second-generation proprietor Marian Harper Levine made the decision to close up shop after a rough few years that included a multi-million dollar wage lawsuit, a temporary closure due to an illegal gas leak, and a highly-publicized split with her husband, who helped her run the restaurant. Harper Levine owns the building, and recently told the Post: "At this stage of my life, the early mornings to late nights have taken a toll, along with my sleepless nights and grueling hours that come with operating a restaurant business."

Mussovic wants to buy the storied restaurant from Levine for $5 million and pay her a percentage of any future proceeds. The scheme, of course, depends on whether or not Mussovic can raise enough money and convince Harper Levine that he’s the right person to take over the business. She still plans to continue to license Carnegie locations in Vegas and Bethlehem, PA, keep the mail-order business going, and operate the kiosk at Madison Square Garden, no matter what. Stay tuned for more details on the plan to save Carnegie, as they become available.

Former Carnegie Deli dishwasher plans to rally foodies and raise $5M to save the eatery [NYDN]

Pastrami Bombshell: Carnegie Deli Is Closing For Good at the End of the Year [ENY]

All Coverage of Carnegie Deli [ENY]

Watch: The Meatiest Sandwich at Carnegie Deli