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Carnegie Deli may be saved by former dishwasher

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Deli dishwasher-turned-restaurateur Samuel Musovic wants to save the NY institution

A former Carnegie Deli employee wants to rescue the pastrami-slinging institution from the imminent closure owner Marian Harper Levine announced at the end of last week. That the beloved (and overpriced) New York deli would just up and close is sort of unfathomable in a world where celebrities insure their legs; there’s always money to be made.

Harper Levine did say that she had plans to "keep her father’s legacy alive by focusing on licensing the iconic Carnegie Deli brand and selling their world-famous products for wholesale distribution," according to a spokesperson, but former deli dishwasher-turned-restaurateur Samuel Musovic has announced plans to round up a group of investors and offer Levine a sum as fat as Carnegie’s cheesecake slices in order to keep the business going, Crain’s reports.

Musovic wants to offer Levine $5 million and a share of profits to take control of the Seventh Avenue institution, and according to Eater, launched a "petition drive" and campaign to take over operations at the restaurant yesterday.

Levine’s move to close is not dictated by real estate—she owns the building at 854 Seventh Avenue—but rather comes after series of unfortunate events, including a 2015 gas leak that temporarily closed the restaurant in 2015; a lawsuit over missing wages owed to employees; and a bitter divorce with Levine’s ex-husband, Sandy.

In a statement reported by the New York Post, Levine said she’s "very sad to close the Carnegie Deli but I've reached the time of my life when I need to take a step back."