‘Delicatessen’ Shuttered Suddenly Yesterday After 11 Years on Prince Street

Posted on: September 12th, 2019 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Eddie Panta

After eleven years situated at the nexus of SoHo and Little Italy, Delicatessen and its Macbar sibling, closed suddenly yesterday morning.

Many longtime breakfast regulars were stunned by the closure.

Delicatessen, a 2,000 square-foot faux deli, debuted in the summer of 2008 as an extension of Chelsea’s Cafeteria. It was a cacophonous hotspot out of the gate, and a place to be seen. Even Gossip Girl filmed there. However, the establishment didn’t quite endear themselves to the neighborhood right away. So much so, that the Observer noted that it was “undeniably the city’s most loathed new restaurant of 2008.

Delicatessen replaced the beloved Buffa’s Coffee Shop, a longtime family-run luncheonette founded in 1928 and once described by writer Michael Davies as “the most unpretentious place in Manhattan.”

Photo: Eddie Panta

But even after Buffa’s was, like the neighborhood itself, gentrified, Buffa himself managed to cling to a part of the establishment. Instead of simply selling out, he took an ownership interest and continued to work the counter during the breakfast shift. Which later became quite popular with an eclectic group of die-hard locals. Monsignor Sakano of Old St. Patrick’s and artist Martha Diamond were also among the regulars of Buffa’s Breakfast Club as it became to be known. (Buffa’s had reportedly closed for renovations leading to the makeover.)

It remains to be seen if Delicatessen reopens, or perhaps gets re-branded for a return. In the meantime, a Department of Buildings permit is pasted to the storefront indicating a new job ahead. So don’t expect a reopening any time soon.

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