In January, one of the Bronx’s oldest kosher delis celebrated its 50th anniversary. In 1961, Loeser’s Kosher Deli was one of hundreds of Jewish delis throughout all of New York City. Thirty years prior there were over one thousand.
Today, there are just under two dozen in all five boroughs and only three left in the Bronx. Their disappearance tells the story of a dying culture. The glory days of mile-high pastrami and corned beef sandwiches are fading further and further into New York City’s history, as those who ran the kosher delis and the customers who frequented them are getting older and older.
Several factors contributed to the decline, including the changing of neighborhoods, the loosening of cultural ties among Jews to their homeland and the inability for many deli owners to maintain their businesses with the high cost of quality kosher meat.
The map below illustrates the decline of kosher delis in the Bronx from 1961 to present time. Hover over the symbols to see the names of kosher delis and where they were located. Click along the timeline to see which ones survived from decade to decade.