2006_01_2ndaveclose.jpgThe NY Times fills in some more holes with the 2nd Avenue Deli's real estate trials, which seemed to culminate in yesterday's gutting of the 2nd Avenue and 10th Street location. It turns out that owner Jack Lebewohl "owed $107,000 in back rent and other charges and that eviction proceedings had begun even before the deli closed." Well, then that $9,000 increase on $24,000 rent would have been really hard to deal with. Next tidbit: Apparently some kosher deli operators have already called the buliding's owners to inquire about the space! And finally, Lebewohl seems open to the possibility of reopening the deli elsewhere in Manhattan - but the new location won't have some of the old deli's old elements, as the clock and "Abe Lebewohl" (Jack's brother who founded the deliand was murdered in 1996) sign will go to Abe's children. Hmm, would you go to a reopened 2nd Avenue Deli elsewhere? Or another kosher deli that opens up at 2nd and 10th?

Newsday mentions the internet fervor for this story - "Local blogs and foodie message boards characterized Tuesday's scene as 'tragic' and 'heartbreaking,' and featured photographs of Lebewohl shuttering an empty, nameless storefront" - plus gets Tim Zagat to weigh in: "I hope we don't have to talk about the 2nd Avenue Deli in the past tense. It's too good a restaurant to be allowed to close. Pretty much anything [at the 2nd Avenue Deli] was good. The pastrami sandwich was amazing, but even the hot dogs were sensational."

Eater has had some great coverage of the closing.