A Big Crowd Turns Out for The Space at Katz’s Pop-up Launch

It was almost too crowded to see the “deli-inspired pieces” on the walls last night at the Katz’s party celebrating their temporary pop-up art space at 203 E. Houston St.

Katz’s Announces Pop-Up Gallery Space

Jake Dell, the man in charge at Katz’s Deli, sent along word yesterday afternoon that the Ludlow Street institution would be launching a pop-up gallery space.

Celebrity Chefs Help Celebrate Katz’s and Support Henry Street Settlement

katz's dinner 1

There has been no shortage of hoopla around Katz’s Delicatessen’s 125th anniversary.  Here’s (probably) the last word from us: a few scenes from Friday night’s charity dinner at the Ludlow Street institution in support of Henry Street Settlement.  Celebrity chefs Danny Bowien (Mission Chinese), Joey Campanaro (Little Owl), Bill Telepan and Sarabeth Levine each prepared a course paying homage to deli cuisine.

Bowien, for example, served Kung Pao Pastrami.  Telepan prepared a modern version of “chicken-in-the-pot.”  Many other high profile chefs were in attendance, including Wylie Dufresne of wd-50 and Marcus Samuelsson of Red Rooster in Harlem.  Comedian Gilbert Gottfried served up a steady diet of amusing insults.  He kept calling Henry Street’s Executive Director David Garza “Steve.”    Gottfried said Katz’s waiters don’t ask, “Is everything is all right,” buth rather, “Is ANYTHING all right?” A few mayoral candidates stopped by throughout the evening, including John Liu and Joe Lhota. Click through for more photos.

Katz’s Pastrami Eating King Gulps 25 Sandwiches

Orchard Street, Sunday, June 2.

Orchard Street, Sunday, June 2. Photos by Tim Schreier.

25 half-pastrami sandwiches in 10 minutes.  That’s what competitive eater Joey Chestnut consumed yesterday afternoon to win the World Pastrami Eating Championship.  The incredibly revolting spectacle was part of Katz’s Deli 125th anniversary celebration and DayLife, the Lower East Side BID’s Orchard Street festival.  Photographer Tim Schreier got up-close-and-personal with the contestants (a little too close, we’re afraid).   Chestnut won a cash prize of $3750. Now he can rest up for the upcoming Coney Island hot dog eating contest! See more photos after the jump.

Celebrate Katz’s, Support Henry Street Settlement


There’s, of course, a lot of hoopla around Katz’s 125th anniversary. The Henry Street Settlement is getting in on the act later this month with a benefit event featuring the legendary Lower East Side deli and some of the city’s most well known chefs.  There will be a tasting menu highlighting some of Katz’s classics as well as dishes from Little Owl’s Joey Campanaro, Mission Chinese’s Danny Bowien, Telepan’s Bill Telepan and noted pastry chef Sarabeth Levine.  The Shabbat dinner, taking place May 31, benefits Henry Street’s programs.  Click here for more info.


Katz’s Pastrami Eating Contest Comes to DayLife June 2

DayLife on Orchard Street, earlier this summer.  Photo: LES BID.

DayLife on Orchard Street. Photo: LES BID.

DayLife, the Orchard Street festival from the LES Business Improvement District, will be back Sunday, June 2.  This season’s main event: a pastrami eating contest in celebration of Katz’s 125th anniversary!  The summer-kickoff party will also feature LES hot spots such as Mission Chinese, the Meatball Shop and the Fat Radish.  DayLife, staged on a three block stretch between Delancey and East Houston streets, will also include live music at Tammany Hall programmed by the Living Room.  The pastrami eating contest is being run by Major League Eating. The 10-minute “all-you-can-eat” spectacle includes $7500 in cash prizes.  You can enter the contest here.  DayLife, complete with pushcarts and backyard-style furnishings, is an initiative from the BID to reinvigorate the Lower East Side’s shopping district.  The full vendor list is on the BID’s web site.


Water, Food, Provisions: Thursday Resources

A small grocery store on Clinton St. just north of Delancey had plenty of fruit and vegetables this afternoon.

City, state and federal relief efforts are starting to take effect on the Lower East Side this afternoon. The National Guard, NYC Service and the Salvation Army are beginning to knock on doors in blacked-out high rises to help home-bound residents. Meanwhile, local businesses continue to rise to the challenge of being powerless for four days straight, including Lower East Side icons Russ & Daughters and Katz’s. Here’s what we know this afternoon about water, food and provisions, as well as local restaurants and bars that are welcoming diners.

  • Beginning at 3 p.m. today, food and water distribution sites will open at the following locations: 10th Street between Avenues C and D, Catherine Street between Monroe and Cherry streets (Smith Houses playground), Pitt and East Houston streets (Hamilton Fish Park), Grand and Clinton streets (water only), Bowery and Division Street (Confucius Plaza).
  • Con Edison began distributing dry ice in Union Square Park at 14th Street and Union Square West at noon today; until supplies last.
  • Russ & Daughters, 179 E. Houston St., is open until 5 p.m. today.
  • Katz’s, 205 E. Houston St., is open until 4 p.m. today and will be open tomorrow and every day until the power returns, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. They can cook with gas and have most of their menu, including pastrami and hot dogs. Yes, there are tourists there, but it’s not too crowded at the moment.

Katz’s Will Now Send a Salami Sandwich Right to Your Door

Katz's: Feeding locals, celebrities and tourists since 1888.

When Hurricane Irene dropped by this summer, The Lo-Down team set out early to cover the neighborhood, bringing readers the news of the storm’s local impacts. That was some hunger-inducing work, so midday, we were delighted to find the lights on and the meat-slicing gurus at the ready inside Katz’s Delicatessen. One of the staffers actually scoffed at our wondering aloud whether they were closed due to weather.

After 123 years, a little wind and rain don’t threaten your business practices. Still, it’s good to shake things up every century or so. This week, the Lower East Side institution sent us the exciting news that they are now delivering their monster pastrami sandwiches, homemade matzo ball soup and other menu items locally.

Purse Snatcher Hits Katz’s, Clinton Street Baking Company

Police have released a surveillance video and are seeking help in finding a serial purse snatcher who’s struck several times on the Lower East Side in the past few months. The incidents have happened at Katz’s Deli and Clinton Street Baking Company.

Katz’s, where three of the four crimes have occurred,  gave the cops the video you see above. It was recorded September 30th, at 3:30 p.m.   The other incidents at Katz’s happened May 1st and May 28th. The suspect hit Clinton Street Baking Company June 17th.

The suspect, a black woman between the ages of 40-50, grabs purses that are slung over the back of chairs. DeDe Lahman, the owner of Clinton Street, told the New York Times there was another theft on September 20th that police did not mention in a news release put out yesterday. “Both times, she came in, cased the place, went to the bathroom and when she came out, grabbed a purse,” Lahman said. “She’s smart.”

The New York Post said the woman asked for a table at Clinton Street Baking Company under the name “Jones.”  “She waits outside a while to see if the place is busy, then comes inside and pretends to be a customer,” Gladys Bido, a waitress, said.

Anyone with info should call Crime Stoppers at 800-577-TIPS.

Katz’s is Open!

As we drive around the neighborhood, not much is open. But Katz’s is undeterred! This was the scene inside moments ago. A security guard said to us: “you think a little storm is going to shut us down? Nah!” Who’s ready for brunch?


Food Wire: El Castillo de Jagua, Doughnuts, Dufresne, Mulberry Street Bar and Bartenders’ Battle

Danny Kim / New York Magazine

In post-weekend food news around the neighborhood:

Good Morning!

Look for bright, sunny skies and a high of 45℉ for our first day of March, today.  Dare we hope Spring is around the corner?  Coming up, we’ll have a report from CB3’s SPURA Committee meeting last night and take a look at the new wine bar, Peri, coming to Essex Street this week.