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Photo via Michael Perlman on Facebook
Owner Jay Parker inside Ben's Best Delicatessen on Queens Boulevard in Rego Park.

After more than 70 years of serving pastrami, corned beef and cold cuts in Rego Park, Ben’s Best Delicatessen is on the verge of closing its doors for good at the end of June.

Jay Parker, the longtime owner of the famous deli founded by his father, Benjamin Parker, in 1945, plans to close the Queens Boulevard store on June 30 unless an acquisition of the business can be made. According to a June 8 press release, Rego-Forest Preservation Council Chairman Michael Perlman submitted a preservation proposal to Parker as soon as he heard the news.

“I had every desire to continue the business through other hands,” Parker said. “If you find an interested party, we can reconstitute the business. My staff would love to continue working here.”

Parker pointed out that around the time the deli opened in the 1940s, there were nearly 1,500 kosher delis in New York City. Today there are only about 12 left, he said.

In an average week, Ben’s Best would serve an estimated 900 pounds of pastrami, 900 pounds of corned beef and 250 pounds of white meat turkey. The deli is know for catering private and corporate events, appearing on television shows like Food Network’s “Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives,” serving as the backdrop in scenes of movies like “The Comedian,” and attracting famous figures like Israeli President Shimon Peres, actor and comedian Jerry Lewis, Senator Jacob Javits, Governor Nelson Rockefeller and Mayors Ed Koch and Rudy Giuliani.

“Time is of the essence to find an individual who will take over this historic business, which is known citywide and even nationally,” Perlman said. “Ben’s Best offers soulful kosher deli food in a classic ambiance, and has attracted celebrities and landed spots in movies and on TV. This is one of the last mom-and-pop-style delis citywide.”

The location features a 65-seat wood-paneled dining room that is adorned with pictures and plaques that signify its family tradition and impressive history. A map on the wall that reads, “You’ve been in our home. Where is yours?” allows patrons to place a pin where they are from.

Those who may be interested in making Ben’s Best Deli their new home are encouraged to reach out to Perlman  who has helped spare locations like Forest Hills Stadium and Cinemart Cinemas  via email at unlockthevault[@]


Join The Discussion

Cadac Lillies June 08, 2018 / 09:59PM
I love this place.they make the best sandwich pastrami, cornbeef. I drove from Brooklyn to eat the sandwiches. I hope that some buys it.that person will take care of it and love has much as they do. .

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