Friday, June 8, 2018

Ben's Best Deli in Rego Park Will Close on June 30 After 73 Years

Regular readers of Bruce's Journal know that once a year or so I walk around Rego Park and observe what has changed over the years.  Ben's Best Deli is one of the few businesses that has remained at its original location since I grew up there in the 1960s.  I found out yesterday that it will be closing on June 30 after being in business since 1945.  I remember my mother sent me there on Sunday afternoons to pick up delicatessen for dinner.  My dad always liked to eat specials (knockwurst) while I ate either salami or pastrami.  I remember Ben Parker who at times was a braggart about the quality of his food.  After he passed away his son Jay took over the business.  He was interviewed for the documentary Deli Man a few years ago.

I reported here in 2008   about the demise of several kosher delis in Queens over the years.  Likely, those delis lost their customer base since the Jewish population in the area has declined.  I understand that there are many Bukharin Jews living in Rego Park, but have their own kosher restaurants and may not patronize Bens.  Very often businesses close since their landlords raise their rents dramatically making it financially impossible to keep going.

It certainly will be the end of an era in Rego Park,

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