Former Carnegie Deli Dishwasher Wants To Buy It And Keep It Open

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Sandwich fans around the world were likely sad to hear last week that New York City’s famed Carnegie Deli would be shutting its doors for good at the end of the year. At least one person has stepped forward thus far to express interest in buying the business and keeping it open.

The prospective buyer claims he was once employed — albeit briefly — as a dishwasher at the deli 40 years ago, CBS New York reports. He’s now putting a $5 million offer (plus a percentage of future proceeds) on the table. He already owns three family restaurants, so he has some experience in the industry outside his time washing dishes.

“Of course you want to make a profit, but it’s not about that. It’s about continuing something. It’s history,” he said. “We’re messing with history here, and I don’t want to see it destroyed.”

He adds that his former employers, original deli owners Milton Parker and Leo Steiner, “would be rolling over in their graves if they knew the Carnegie Deli was closing.”

The deli first opened in midtown Manhattan in 1937, and the current owner’s family bought the restaurant in 1976.

“As you all know, the restaurant business is one of the hardest jobs in New York City,” owner Marian Harper said last week in a statement. “At this stage of my life, the early morning to late night days have taken a toll, along with my sleepless nights and grueling hours that come with operating a restaurant business in Manhattan. I’m very sad to close Carnegie Deli New York at 854 Seventh Ave., but I’ve reached a time in my life when I need to take a step back.”

There are also other licensed Carnegie Deli locations in Las Vegas; Bethlehem, PA; NYC’s Madison Square Garden; and at the U.S. Open tennis tournament in Queens.

Onetime Dishwasher Seeks To Buy Carnegie Deli, Keep It Open [CBS New York]

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