Save the Deli

Katz’s not for Sale, says Villager

Just flew back from London last night, and it’s good to be back at the home desk, pounding away at the keys once again. I’ll post about salt beef and London shortly, but for now, a tidbit that one of you loyal followers sent me while I was away.

In a story last week, the Lower Manhattan newspaper The Villager published the story “Katz’s Delicatessan says sale rumors are baloney”, by reporter Lincoln Anderson. Given what we’ve heard, and what I’ve printed, about the potential demise of the oldest American delicatessen, this is a breath of good news.

Although news articles, bloggers and neighborhood whisperings keep insisting that Katz’s Delicatessan has been bought by a developer, its owners say all the talk is, well, just chopped liver. Last Friday, when The Villager called to inquire if the legendary Lower East Side eatery indeed had been sold, co-owner Alan Dell quashed the rumors like a potato pancake.

Laughing heartily, he said, “You’re talking to the owner. No it wasn’t.”

Dell said, however, that while they would like to take advantage of the property’s copious air rights, they don’t want to do it at the cost of the historic deli.

“Basically, what we’d like to do is to build above, but keep the store below,” he said. “Business is really good. There’s no reason to end the business. We’ve been here so long, 120 years.”


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