Katz’s Deli has been a New York City staple for almost 130 years. Last year, Zagat’s rated Katz’s 4.5 out of 5 and named it the top New York deli. The deli moved once in 1917, but shockingly little has changed since. Their pastrami is legendary and sells by the ton every week.
The Katz family ran the deli from 1903 to 1988. At that time, with no descendants to take over, the owners sold it to the Dell family. In 2009, Jake Dell became operations manager and was recently promoted to owner at the age of 29. Last month, Dell did the unthinkable and expanded Katz’s.
In an interview with Grub Street, Dell explained the reasoning behind the expansion. As it turns out, Dell has no intention of trying to replicate the classic Katz’s experience. Instead, he orchestrated the opening of a take-out only location in DeKalb Market Hall to better serve patrons coming over the bridge.
The new location means that New Yorkers that are tired of rubbing elbows with tourists can get the location’s famed corned beef sandwiches without the ordeal of the original location. When asked if further expansions were possible, Dell played coy, saying, “People may not like this. How many restaurants fail in New York?”
When the interviewer pressed, Dell conceded that if the customers responded well to the take-out location, more locations were possible. Katz’s already has a 30,000sq ft distribution center that is shipping the deli’s famous pastrami to all 50 states.