By the time we got to the 2nd Avenue Deli, the sign was totally torn down and a "dismantling" truck had arrived. But 2nd Avenue Deli owner, Jack Lebewohl (right), was on the street, talking to reporters (he confirmed that it was in fact closed) and receiving condolences from neighborhood residents. Every few seconds, someone would stop in shock, ask what was happening, and then something along the lines of, "What a crime!" or "We can't go to Katz's - it's been going really downhill!"
It was pretty depressing to see the blue awning stripped away, because deep down, Gothamist hoped there would be some miracle deal, like some mystery investors would help the 2nd Avenue Deli out with its rent issues. But it seems the 2nd Avenue Deli is chopped liver (for now?).
We stepped inside momentarily, and it was messy. A crew kept carrying out all shelves and computers. It seems like most of the stuff is being dumped, though we couldn't quite find out what happened to the official sign. And no word if Lebewohl is taking the sign with his late brother Abe's name.
Let us know if you hear anything - neighborhood scuttlebutt, real estate rumors, conspiracy theories, you name it.