Ben’s R.I.P.

June 18th, 2018 § 0 comments

Sad news. The Forward reported today that Ben’s deli in the Rego Park section of Queens has closed. That’s dreadful. During HG’s long career as a public relations counselor, HG was often in Rego Park where he met with real estate biggies, politicos and journalists assigned to the Queens beat. This was long before Queens (and Rego Park) became heavily internationalized and multi-ethnic, multi-lingual. Big Jewish population. At Ben’s, HG often lunched with HG’s long time client, the late real estate mogul Sam Lefrak (This was before Sam discovered his alleged French ancestry and changed his last name to the classier “LeFrak”). HG and Sam plotted PR maneuvers as they wolfed down giant pastrami and corned beef sandwiches plus French fries, potato salad and cole slaw. The beverage was Dr. Brown’s Cel-Ray Tonic. They were often joined by another Ben’s habituee, the then Queens Borough President Don Manes (later a suicide as he faced corruption charges). Ben’s, Gitlitz (on Broadway and 79th), Second Avenue Delicatessen (when run by the late, tragically murdered Abe Lebewohl) were HG’s favorite New York Jewish delis. All gone. Jewish delicatessens are a vanishing species. Health reasons? Loss of Jewish identity? Assimilation? Fear of heartburn? Who know. Katz’s remains, of course. However, HG has never fancied Katz’s. Overrated.

Tagged , ,

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

What's this?

You are currently reading Ben’s R.I.P. at HUNGRY GERALD.