Midtown’s Carnegie Deli has faced a number of setbacks and scandals over the last few years — including a year-long closure due to an illegal gas hook-up, a wage lawsuit filed by staffers, and the messy divorce of its owner and her husband, who was cheating with a waitress while allegedly helping her open a rogue location of the deli in Thailand. And now, proprietor Marian Harper Levine is deciding to throw in the towel. The second generation deli owner broke the news to employees this morning. Harper tells the Post’s Steve Cuozzo: "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.....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."
Although Carnegie is a massive tourist trap complete with hokey novelty dishes, inflated prices, and a nonsensical sharing charge, it’s still one of New York’s longest-running Jewish delicatessens, and it’s absolutely one of the most famous pastrami purveyors in the world. The restaurant has been featured in numerous films and television programs over the years, including, memorably, the opening scene of Broadway Danny Rose.
Harper Levine owns the building, and the Post notes that she still plans to keep licensing Carnegie Deli operations in Vegas and Bethlehem, PA. The restaurant’s last day in business will be December 30. If you have any remembrances of Carnegie, please drop them in the comments.