For once, you won’t have to deal with long lines at Carnegie Deli today.
But that’s because the Midtown sandwich-and-schmooze institution has been closed by Con Edison, New York’s power company.
Con Ed contends the Carnegie used “a Y-shaped piece of plumbing” to misappropriate natural gas for six years until it was abruptly shut down on Friday, The New York Times reports.
Illegal gas lines have been the target of a hunt by Con Ed since the deadly East Village gas explosion in March; investigators have speculated that an illicit gas hookup in an apartment building caused the blast.
But the Carnegie Deli is sounding a defiant note over its shuttering.
“The current management is outraged over this situation and will do everything possible to find out exactly what happened. The Carnegie Deli will reopen as soon as possible, and we thank our employees and patrons for their patience and consideration,” spokesperson Chris Giglio told the Times. (A call to Giglio by the Forward was not returned by press time.)
Founded in 1937 by Leo Steiner, the deli still dishes up Jewish classics like matzo-ball soup and chopped liver, along with towering sandwiches like the Woody Allen — corned beef and pastrami — and luscious cheesecake.
While the restaurant’s been the memorable setting for movies like Allen’s Broadway Danny Rose, tourists seem to make up most of its clientele these days.
The closing is the latest woe for owner Marian Levine, who was forced to pay $11,000 a month to ex-husband Sanford Levine in a nasty divorce proceeding last year. He had allegedly been having an affair with a waitress.
Levine’s father, Milton Parker, took over the restaurant in 1976 from the original owners.
Michael Kaminer is a frequent contributor to the Forward.