Neighbors Organize to Try and Keep Jesse's Deli in Boerum Hill

A last-ditch effort is underway to save a neighborhood institution in Brooklyn.

Jesse's Deli has been in Boerum Hill for 25 years, but rising rents might force it to move.

Supporters say the owners have always been there for them, even sleeping in the store so they could stay open during Hurricane Sandy.

So far, neighbors have collected nearly 1,000 signatures on a petition to the landlord.

The owner, Mohamad Itayam, says he's paying $4,000 a month in rent, but the landlord has the space listed online for $10,000.

Itayam says there are other sticking points.

"It's not just the rent. It's actually the terms," he said. "To reach the rent that they are asking for, we have to upgrade the store, and without upgrading the store, there's no way we can get the new customer base coming in."

"I'm hoping that a mutual agreement can come somehow out of the coordinated efforts of the community, just by putting a little bit of pressure that explains how important Jesse's is to the neighborhood," said Kyle Boyd, a Boerum Hill resident.

The owner says he is hopeful, but he is also looking into other places in the neighborhood.

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