Since Artie’s Delicatessen opened its doors on the Upper West Side, it’s been a place that established neighborhood camaraderie and represented the best in this facet of the food business that New York City has long been known for over the past century. However, despite that level of popularity for the retro-focused diner, it fell victim to poor management and closed abruptly on April 19.
The shutdown came so quickly that some of the employees were unaware of it until they arrived for work at 2290 Broadway and found a hastily-written sign taped to the glass door. In all, approximately 70 people worked there, with many concerned about receiving their final paycheck from the owner. That fear was based on the fact that Artie’s had filed for bankruptcy just last July, citing debts of over $500,000.
The origins of the delicatessen developed after the 1997 death of the deli’s namesake, Artie Cutler. Having run multiple West Side restaurants during his lifetime, his family opened up the deli two years later. Eventually, they sold Artie’s to the current owner, who also owns other restaurants in the area.
One of the characteristic New York touches that stamped Artie’s as a local institution was the demeanor of the waitresses, which offered the stereotypical no-nonsense approach to customers. While the deli was, not surprisingly, known for its Reuben sandwich and matzo-ball soup, it also offered a kid-friendly menu.
Those employees of Artie’s have a goal of reopening the deli within the same neighborhood, but their limited funds make such a scenario highly unlikely. At the time of the aforementioned bankruptcy filing, the deli’s manager compared the situation to that of General Motors (GM), which also made a similar filing. However, only GM is still around.