Alas 2nd Ave Deli, I Knew Thee

One of my favourite eating establishments in the whole world shut its doors for the last time at the beginning of this month. The 2nd Ave Deli has vacated its premises and seems to be no more. It's a crying shame and it is no way to be considered progress.

We saw a similar situation happen in Melbourne a few years ago when The Continental closed after a battle about the rent. A long term tenant of its Greville St premises, the landlord decided to increase the rent by a ridiculous amount, pushing the Marios out of their south of the Yarra building. Since then the building has featured a number of different restaurants, none of which have had the success of The Continental.

I predict a similar thing will happen with the building formerly occupied by the 2nd Ave Deli. Other delis will come and go and none will match its success.

There are just too many memories tied up in the walls of that building. For me it will always be remembered as the place we went to after a gig at CBGBs. 3 years ago I sat at the counter and savoured the last serve of half a sandwich and soup I'd have for years. My plane flew out of JFK two hours later and I was too full to eat anything until well after the NY to LA leg was completed.

There are other Delis but there was something about 2nd Ave that captured everything I wanted from a restaurant: the atmosphere, the food, the service, the complimentary pickles.

Nothing will ever come close to it and the world is a poorer place for its loss.