Carnegie Deli Owners Rebuff Purchase Offer

News   Carnegie Deli Owners Rebuff Purchase Offer
The iconic eatery across from Carnegie Hall may soon be gone for good.
Carnegie Deli
Carnegie Deli

New York’s Carnegie Deli, which has announced that it is closing later this year, reportedly has rebuffed an offer from a potential buyer who wants to save the theatre district landmark, according to a report The New York Daily News.

The 79-year-old pastrami palace on Seventh Avenue between 54th and 55th Streets has fed generations of theatre fans headed to shows to the west, and classical music mavens headed for Carnegie Hall across the street to the east.

Owner Marian Harper Levine announced the closing to early-shift employees at 7 AM September 30. The final plate of corned beef reportedly will be served up December 31. Since then, a wealthy former Carnegie dishwasher, Sam Musovic, came forward claiming to have raised $5 million to buy the iconic eatery. But he says Harper has refused to meet with him.

The News reported that Musovic made the offer during an October 3 demonstration on the sidewalk outside Carnegie. But as Musovic spoke to reporters, a Carnegie manager shouted that the offer was nothing but a “B.S. publicity stunt.”

“The owner is in the prime of her life and she wants to retire,” manager John Gentile was quoted saying. “Everyone else does it, why can’t she?”

A spokeswoman for Levine gave the News a statement saying “Marian will focus her time on licensing the iconic Carnegie Deli brand and selling Carnegie Deli's world-famous products for wholesale distribution. There is no interest in discussing the sale of Carnegie Deli on Seventh Avenue with Musovic at this time.”

In recent years the Carnegie ran into trouble with the New York City and federal governments, which charged that it had cheated employees out of proper pay. It closed for ten months starting in December 2012 and closed again for several months in spring 2015 when inspectors found it was illegally diverting gas to run its ovens before it got to the gas meters.

The deli appeared in the Woody Allen film Broadway Danny Rose as the gathering place for old-time showbiz types who tell the film's story in flashback. It is also mentioned in Adam Sandler’s “The Chanukah Song.”

It's the latest atmospheric Times Square landmark eatery to vanish, including McHale's restaurant, which stood on 46th Street and Eighth Avenue, the Cafe Edison on 47th Street, and the Stage Deli about two blocks from the Carnegie.

(Updated October 4, 2016)

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