The Jewish deli: The end of an era on Long Island?

By | February 15, 2014
Jewish delis becomming an endangered species

Jewish delis on Long Island are becoming an endangered species!

The Jewish delicatessen, once a staple on Long Island, is slowly disappearing from view!

Growing up on Long Island there was nothing like a trip with my parents to the local kosher deli for a hot pastrami on rye with spicy mustard. It was as we say a taste sensation that would only get to be experienced once in a while.

Later on, when I  was working as a bellhop in college on weekends and over the summer at the now defunct Grossinger’s Hotel in the Catskills (except for the golf course), my enjoyment of these kosher deli foods continued.

Unfortunately, however, time marches on and while most of us who are over 45-years of age will have some memory of what the Catskills, also known as the Borscht Belt, was like during its heyday anyone younger likely will not.

This loss left us with only the staple kosher delis scattered around Long Island and New York City that could always be counted on for the hot dog or occasional chicken-in-the-pot. But now these are slowly going away as well.

With the December closing of the 60-year old restaurant Andel’s in Roslyn and others before it, a variety of factors are making the true kosher deli harder and harder to find.

In an article from LIBN titled ‘Jewish delis on LI dying‘ an explanation for this slow end to a piece of history and tradition is provided:

After more than 60 years at the same Roslyn Heights location, Andel’s Kosher Delicatessen closed its doors in December.

It was just another restaurant closing to some, but to deli devotees it was much more: another local landmark lost, another nail in the traditional kosher delicatessen’s coffin.

Andel’s followed the sorry path of Plainview staple Ruven’s, Albertson icon Deli on Rye, Bay Shore’s Delsen’s Kosher Delicatessen and many other Jewish eateries that once spiced the Long Island landscape but are no more.

Today, the “world famous” Pastrami King serves customers in Merrick and the royal-sounding Regal does the same in Plainview, and a few chains fill the gaps, and that’s it. Many so-called Jewish restaurants don’t even keep kosher anymore.

“Delis aren’t surviving,” said Regal owner Steve Weiss. “In fact, they’re going out of business very quickly.”

Read the rest of the article at LIBN here.

Article author, Hallmark Abstract President Michael Haltman, can be reached at 516.741.4723 or mhaltman@hallmarkabstractllc.com.

 

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