The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen

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Michael Hoffman
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 13:16:40 (permalink)

#31
EdSails
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 13:24:10 (permalink)
iluvcfood

. I can tell you in ONE word why most of the Jewish delis have met their demise..........  GREED!!

 
Well, iluvcfood, I can't completely disagree with you. Out here in LA, for example, Junior's Deli went out of business because the LANDLORD tried to raise the rent so high that they could not survive. In Orange County, Jerry's Deli went out of business because the LANDLORD decided not to renew the lease and brounght in a new, hip place that paid a lot more. From what I understand that was the same problem with Katz's in NYC, the LANDLORD wanted way too much money and forced them into bankruptcy. 
So greed it might be, but don't put the blame on the deli owners. Have you priced brisket these days or lox? Even at wholesale, they are not cheap.
#32
The Travelin Man
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 14:51:56 (permalink)
To the best of my knowledge, Katz's Delicatessen, on Houston and Ludlow has never filed for bankruptcy. Kat's Deli in Austin filed for bankruptcy, which, while on the surface looked like a landlord-tenant dispute was really a lot more about someone incapably of paying their bills: 
     
Katz said agreeing to his lease terms was his “biggest mistake,” but also said he was “asleep at the wheel” and did not respond to rising costs and declining economic conditions quickly enough.
Katz’s Deli owes $121,900 in federal, state and county taxes, according to court records. The company owes about 14 vendors about $30,000 and owes more than 55 past and present employees about $26,000.
The company has annual revenue of about $2.7 million, based on court records that said monthly revenue is $225,900.
 
Katz's in NYC was rumored to have had the building sold to make way for condos, but I can't even find information about that any more. I thought that they were going to build the condos above Katz's, but I could be remembering incorrectly.
#33
wanderingjew
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 15:11:34 (permalink)
TTM,
I'm wondering if Edsails is confusing Katz's with Second Avenue Deli. They did close because the landlord wanted to raise their rent, but I don't think they were forced into bankruptcy- either way they ended up re-opening  a year or two later on 33rd and 3rd!
#34
joerogo
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 15:38:48 (permalink)
If Jewish deli's are doomed, the wounds are self inflicted.  Below is the sandwich menu from Harold's.  Great stuff and a "free" pickle bar, but, how many times a week can you shell out that kind of money for lunch?  And do you really want to bring a doggie bag back to work with you?  I really like the Harold's Special.  Last time I had it, $42.00, it is now $62.00...OY VEY!
 
It seems that there is a race to see who can offer the most outrageous, hugmongous and costliest sandwich.  If you are in an area that can support it, fine.  Most places are not.
 
To me it appears that Katz's serves a normal sized sandwich.  Hope to try it someday.
 
 
SANDWICHES
Served on Rye, White, Whole Wheat, Pumpernickle, Italian, Hero, Kaiser Roll or Bagel -- with Coleslaw
x            
Deli Sandwiches
ANY 2 MEAT COMBINATION SANDWICH (X-Large) $44.95 FEEDS 3-5
ANY 2 MEAT COMBINATION SANDWICH (Large) $27.45 FEEDS 1-3
(with Tongue, Additional $2.00)
  Large X-Large     Large X-Large NEW YORK'S BEST
CORNED BEEF
22.45 42.95   ROAST TURKEY 22.45 42.95 HOT PASTRAMI 22.45 42.95   SOFT SALAMI * 19.45 36.95 ROAST BEEF 22.45 42.95   HARD SALAMI 19.95 37.95 ROAST BRISKET OF BEEF 22.45 42.95   BOLOGNA 16.50 33.00 BEEF TONGUE (hot) 24.95 6061.95   LIVERWURST 16.50 33.00 GRILLED AMERICAN, SWISS, MEUNSTER, PROVOLONE 
OR CHEDDAR CHEESE
    VIRGINIA HAM 16.50 33.00 7.45   BOILED HAM 16.50 33.00
with Ham or Bacon    
9091.45   BACON, LETTUCE, TOMATO 22.95           * Hebrew National  
#35
love2bake
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 15:46:44 (permalink)
CCinNJ

Yum! @ black & white cookies from Canter's.

As a kid I found these so attractive (we shopped at Cake Masters in NYC), but too cakey.  I'd like to try them again now, though. 
 
I'd probably pay whatever they asked for real, traditional Jewish deli pastrami and corned beef.  It's been forever since I've had that.
#36
joerogo
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 16:45:23 (permalink)
Ooops!  Missed another price increase.
 
            HAROLD'S FAVORITE
                Heaping serving of Corned Beef, Pastrami or Combination served open face on 
                Potato Kanish with Melted Swiss Cheese 
66.95
#37
EdSails
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 19:04:13 (permalink)
wanderingjew

TTM,
I'm wondering if Edsails is confusing Katz's with Second Avenue Deli. They did close because the landlord wanted to raise their rent, but I don't think they were forced into bankruptcy- either way they ended up re-opening  a year or two later on 33rd and 3rd!

You are right,
A little bird whispered Katz's, I did a quick internet search and didn't see (or know) there was one in Houston too, just skimmed the article and added it to back my reason. Honestly, never having been in a deli in NYC, Katz's and Russ and Daughters anre the only places I have heard of. The two places I mentioned in LA/OC though are very well documented, one by the LA Times and the other by the Irvine company themselves.
post edited by EdSails - 2013/05/22 19:06:10
#38
Michael Hoffman
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 19:12:17 (permalink)
joerogo

Ooops!  Missed another price increase.

            HAROLD'S FAVORITE
               Heaping serving of Corned Beef, Pastrami or Combination served open face on 
               Potato Kanish with Melted Swiss Cheese 
66.95


The description is even more obscene than the price.
#39
mar52
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/22 19:58:13 (permalink)
Kanash sounds like a verb.
#40
bartl
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/24 11:27:41 (permalink)
iluvcfood EVERY business owner is in the work place trying to make a buck just like any other but for some reason it seems as if Jewish deli owners continually and constantly increase their prices to make higher and higher profits when there is no need to do so!  I DO realize that in some specific food market areas that the price of the meats, Kosher items etc are very expensive but if you offer EXCELLENT service, continually good menu items at reasonable prices your business will do a bang up job!  

I am reminded of the old joke:
 
A: I know how you can really increase business. Just reduce your prices by 50%!
B: But we'll lose money on every sale!
A: I know that, but you'll make it up on volume!
 
Bart
#41
bartl
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/24 11:34:09 (permalink)
Michael Hoffman

joerogo

Ooops!  Missed another price increase.

            HAROLD'S FAVORITE
              Heaping serving of Corned Beef, Pastrami or Combination served open face on 
              Potato Kanish with Melted Swiss Cheese 
66.95


The description is even more obscene than the price.

My wife and I buy a single 2 meat sandwich, and we get enough leftovers for another dinner. Harold's is a place you go to with a group, not alone. And they smoke their own pastrami (and you can tell).
 
Bart
#42
joerogo
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/24 12:10:55 (permalink)
bartl, My point exactly.  It seems most Jewish Deli's are following Harold's model.  You cannot stop in for lunch by yourself, spend $10-$12 for a sandwich and get back to work.  Thus eliminating a large customer base.  If an area, like Harold's, can support this business model, good.  But, most areas cannot.
 
And as far as quality, Harold's is the best pastrami I eve had.
#43
CCinNJ
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Re:The Demise of the Jewish Delicatessen 2013/05/24 14:47:18 (permalink)
I think a pastrami sandwich at Langer's Canter's...Carnegie & Katz's Deli are all in the $15 - $17 range.

A corned beef sandwich at Canter's is $12.50.
#44
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