New York City's iconic Carnegie Deli is closing at the end of the year.
Owner Marian Harper announced the closure to about 25 early-shift workers Friday morning, according to a spokeswoman. When it closes at the end of the year, the Manhattan eatery famous for its massive corned beef and pastrami sandwiches will have been in business for 79 years.
"At this stage of my life, the early morning to late night days have taken a toll, along with my sleepless nights and grueling hours that come with operating a restaurant business in Manhattan," Harper said in a statement. "I’m very sad to close Carnegie Deli... but I’ve reached a time in my life when I need to take a step back."
Hong said that the deli will stay open through December so employees have enough time to find new jobs or work through the holiday season. Staying open through the end of the year also allows Harper to celebrate 40 years since her father purchased the business from its original owners in 1976.
But the closure doesn't mean you won't be able to get a "Woody Allen" sandwich anymore. Hong said that the deli will still operate out of locations at casinos across the country and at Madison Square Garden and during the U.S. Open. It will still also sell its cheesecakes online.
The closure comes less than a year after the restaurant was forced to shutter its doors for an illegal gas hookup.
Regulars were saddened by the news.
"It's always been one of my favorite places. It's an institution," said Dave Elbow, a tourist who visits the deli frequently. "I was down here once at three in the morning and Mr. Mason was sitting at the table right with me."
Cristyne Nicholas, a spokeswoman for the deli, said the owner was "very sad ut very thankful for the patronage, for the loyal customers and the family that she has here."