Despite the efforts of a former dishwasher-turned restaurateur, the Carnegie Deli will close after the stroke of midnight on Friday, its owner confirmed.
“Along with my daughter Sarri and in honor of my late father, Milton, I would like to sincerely thank all of our loyal patrons — tourists, dignitaries and New Yorkers alike —who have visited Carnegie Deli over the past 80 years,” Marian Harper Levine said in a statement on Friday.
“Since my father took over the deli in 1976, this has been a second home to me, and it has been a true privilege and an honor to serve you. Although this has been an incredibly difficult decision to officially close Carnegie Deli New York tonight at midnight, we thank you for your letters, notes, visits and sharing your stories.”
A spokeswoman for Levine said in a separate statement that the deli “is not for sale and the family is certainly not considering any publicity-inspired offers.”
Former deli dishwasher Sammy Musovic, who now owns three Manhattan restaurants of his own, doubled down on an original offer to buy the Carnegie Deli and keep it open.
His latest offer to buy the deli was reportedly $10 million.
“Buying the Carnegie Deli would be a dream come true for me. I would be able to save all those jobs, and preserve New York history. This is the best deli in the world,” Musovic told Page Six.
More than 60 employees are expected to lose their jobs because of the closure.
Musovic came to the U.S. from what was then Yugoslavia 30 years ago. His first job was washing dishes for $3 an hour at Carnegie Deli.
When Levine announced the closure in September, Musovic offered $5 million to keep it open, an offer Levine turned down.
“It was an honor to wash dishes at the Carnegie Deli — it inspired me to stay in the food business, and now I own three restaurants,” he said. “I believe closing it down would be a huge loss for New York — it would be the same as losing the Empire State Building. It is a landmark.”
The Carnegie Deli, which is frequented by tourists, New Yorkers and celebrities alike, opened in 1937. It was sold to Levine’s father, Milton Parker, and Leo Steiner in 1976.
Offshoots in Las Vegas, Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, and sports arenas will remain open after the New York location shutters on New Year’s Eve.