After 75 years in business, New York’s Stage Delicatessen announced its closure on Friday. For a deli world already used to deaths and disappearances, having seen thousands of landmarks wiped clean from our palate over the past decades, the end of the Stage plunges deep into the heart of deli lovers. The magnitude of its loss is incalculable. The significance is simply staggering.
Oh sure, in her later years she was easily dismissed as tired, failing, cranky, and limping along. Once the talk of the town now just seemed warmed over and rehashed for the tourist throngs. They’ll say it hadn’t been the same for years, or even decades, and that her time was past, but they know in their hearts that even at this age, she was taken from us too soon.
The Stage was founded by Max Asnas, a Russian Jewish immigrant with a gravelly Yiddish accent, a wide belly, and a gift for gab.
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