NYC's iconic Carnegie Deli closing its doors at end of this year

Published 09/30 2016 10:33AM

Updated 09/30 2016 10:33AM

CBS2 New York

Fans of New York City’s famous Carnegie Deli are crying in their corned beef.

After decades of serving up sky-high sandwiches, the iconic deli announced Friday it will close its doors for good at the end of the year.

President and owner Marian Harper reportedly broke down in tears when she told her staff that the Midtown eatery, located at 854 Seventh Avenue, will serve up its last pastrami on rye and other giant sandwiches on Dec. 31.

“As you all know, the restaurant business is one of the hardest jobs in New York City. 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,” Harper said. “I’m very sad to close Carnegie Deli New York at 854 7th Avenue, but I’ve reached a time in my life when I need to take a step back.”

The deli has been in the Harper family for 40 years.

Harper’s father purchased the eatery from the original owners in 1976.

The company said Harper “will dedicate and focus her time on licensing the iconic Carnegie Deli brand and sell Carnegie Deli’s world-famous products for wholesale distribution…to keep the Carnegie legacy alive.”

Employee Desmarine Redwood said hearing the news brought tears to her eyes. She’s worked at the deli for 26 years.

“I love working here. I dream about this place every night,” Redwood said.

Longtime customer Steve Sackett said he’s disappointed.

“I’ve been coming here on and off since the 1980s,” he said. “You can’t get corned beef sandwiches like this anywhere else.”

The deli has been serving towering tummy pleasers like the “Woody Allen” since first opening its doors in 1937, but it hasn’t always been smooth operating, CBS2’s Vanessa Murdock reported.

The deli was forced to close for 10 months in April 2015 after Con Edison crews found it had been improperly siphoning natural gas for close to six years. At the time, Harper told CBS2 she didn’t know about the illegal tapping, and paid Con-Ed more than $40,000 for the gas.

Fans will still be able to get their favorite deli eats at the company’s other locations including Madison Square Garden, Carnegie Deli Las Vegas at The Mirage Hotel & Casino, Carnegie Deli at The Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, PA and annually at the U.S. Open in Queens.

The deli also ships some products nationwide through its website.

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