‘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.

Recent Stories

‘Good Luck’ Runs out for Orchard Street Massage Parlor, Busted for Prostitution

It appears the Good Luck Spa on Orchard Street ran afoul of the law. Shuttered by court order due to alleged prostitution. (And therefore perpetuating the stereotype of illicit Chinatown massage parlors.) The business, which relocated here from Grand Street four years ago, was ordered closed by court order last Thursday. Stickers on the drawn […]

Report: Notorious Landlord Michael Shah Arrested Twice for Allegedly Assaulting Girlfriend then Violating Protection Order

Notorious landlord and developer Michael Shah, whose properties and bars dot the Lower East Side, was twice arrested this fall regarding the alleged assault of his model girlfriend. The news comes to light in a New York Post article that focuses more on Shah’s recent filing of a complaint related to a summertime “attack” in […]

With Lease Renewed, B&H Dairy Undergoes Makeover

Currently celebrating eighty-one years on the Lower East Side, B&H Dairy has a new look. Last week, the restaurant took a three-day break in order to spruce things up a bit. Updated equipment, new floors, wainscoting, and a fresh coat of paint. Of greater importance, however, is the official update (via Facebook) that a lease […]

Guerrilla Plaques Document Offbeat LES Cultural Spaces of the ’90s and ‘00s

We’ve written a lot of articles in recent years about how one has to look a bit harder to find underground art, performance and just plain wonderful weirdness in the hyper-gentrified Lower East Side climate. Recently, anonymously made plaques appeared with the histories of some beloved performance and art spaces from the 1990s and early […]

Togo to go: Bronze Dog Statue in Seward Park is Relocated

The bronze dog sculpture near the East Broadway entrance to Seward Park is easy to miss. Before its relocation last week, he had been buried in the brush, guarding the small children’s playground (i.e. the tot lot). Now, as part of the ongoing $6.4 million “Parks Without Borders” renovations, he’s on the move. So this […]