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2nd Avenue Deli Prepares To Reopen In Murray Hill

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The 2nd Avenue Deli is putting the final touches on its new home in Murray Hill. NY1's Cindi Avila filed the following report.

The 2nd Avenue Deli is being reincarnated in a whole new neighborhood. The restaurant closed its doors in January 2006 after a rent increase. At that time there were no plans to move, but Jeremy Lebewohl says he didn't want his family business to end like that. So he decided to reopen, this time on 33rd Street — and not on Second Avenue, but between Lexington and Third.

Was a name change ever considered?

"It's the 2nd Avenue Deli. That says it all, and we don't want to change it,” said Lebewohl.

The original location was open for 52 years and carried a lot of history — some good, some bad. The most notorious was when the original owner, Jeremy's uncle Abe Lebewohl, was murdered during an apparent robbery in 1996.

On a different note, the deli was known as a destination, with guests visiting from all over the globe. Celebrities flocked there, and locals called it a second home.

"We had people that came in everyday, instead of cooking in their home, they came and they ate with us,” says Lebewohl.

The finishing touches for the new kitchen are underway. The tables are ready to be set, and the soda fountain is ready to go, with Bosco on tap. Of course, the star will be the food.

"It reminds them of a certain nostalgia, from their mother's cooking or their grandmother’s cooking,” says Lebewohl. "We get calls all the time in our office. ÎWhen are you opening? We miss this. We haven't been able to find pastrami as good as yours, liver as good as yours.’"

Lebewohl says the menu will be pretty much the same as before — still Kosher and still big portions. There will be two big changes though. This time around he hopes to operate 24/7 and with a full bar.

The 2nd Avenue Deli is expected to open within the next month. They also expect a lot of their regular customers to return.

- Cindi Avila
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