Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House 1954-2008
And so this sunday it will come to be.
The Rascal House, arguably the most famous of all Florida’s numerous Jewish delicatessens, will go into the sunset after one final brunch. Friends who have been in the past weeks have said it’s deserted, and many thought it was already closed. I just called and spoke with the cashier, who, in her wisecracking, war-weary voice, told me that Sunday would be the final day of business. Then the sticky buns and buttery rugelach would go away, as would the towering corned beef sandwiches and platters of lox. In a few months a new Epicure market will open in its place, serving overpriced Jewish goods and exotic fruits from all over the world. Gone will be the soul, the taste, the schmaltz and the Tam, and I don’t think it will ever return to Miami Beach again. Wolfie Cohen’s empire, once encompassing Wolfie’s, Pumpernik’s, and Rascal House, is done.
It’s the end of an era, but at least I had the chance to taste it. Sad to see one of the great American delis dying, though it should renew us all with a sense of purpose as to what we’re here to save.
Alef Hasholem Rascal House.
Rest in Peace