Wednesday, July 16, 2014

Help Punjabi Deli

The Punjabi Deli has been tucked in a corner on 1st Street near 1st Avenue since 1994. Open 24 hours a day, they serve mostly cab drivers, but many locals have also discovered the deli's delicious and inexpensive vegetarian dishes of Indian cuisine.

Punjabi offers cabbies a place to rest and refuel, and to socialize and create connections. Sometimes, one of the workers will break into spontaneous song.

But business has been declining for Punjabi. Owner Singh told the Lo-Down last year that he "lost half his business over the past few years with less parking available in the area and construction on Houston Street making it harder for taxis to stop at his deli."

It used to be you'd see a yellow stripe of taxis lined up in front of Punjabi. Now you see construction materials.  

Punjabi is petitioning the city to bring a taxi relief stand to the front of the deli, a place where taxis can park for an hour so drivers can get a meal, use the rest room, and relax before getting back behind the wheel.  

You can sign the petition at the deli or go online here to sign.

The petition reads, in part:

"Since last 21 years all taxi drivers go to this particular area to have break from their hard work for a cup of tea or breakfast, lunch or dinner. They use Punjabi Dhaba, located on 1st street and Avenue A, facility as quick washroom and relief...  Though the City and state government collect taxes for each trip from commuters in the form of surcharge through hard working of drivers, they do not create or give much facility and respect to taxi drivers... The Punjabi Dhaba is loosing its business and local area customers also and running their operations is getting very difficult for them."


onemorefoldedsunset said...

That block's been a mess with construction for so long. And with gas stations disappearing fast, a lot of these kinds of businesses must be suffering. I wonder about the future for the tiny Lahore, on Crosby, for example, when the Lafayette station is gone. The food there is really good, and it's a cab driver social hub.

Ali - YumVeggieBurger said...

Thank you for sharing this - Punjabi is such a great place for a quick and inexpensive bite to eat, it would be sad indeed if NYC lost this treasure! I hope the petition helps them!

Jim Duffy said...

Yes, help Punjabi "taxi takeout" keep serving those fresh vegetarian dishes with friendly service. It's the best dinner deal in town -- two people can eat plenty for a total of $15.

Anonymous said...

$15 according to posters on ev grieve only wall St dbags and trustafarians and rich folks have that kind - ill stop by tomorrow and sign.- is this.on evgrieve or lowdown? These people have been almost.destroyed? Where are our elected officials? Disgraceful that these projects take so long

Anonymous said...

houston st has been under construction for 5 yrs now there. they could have built a whole new city by now. give us peace and quiet and finish the overdue job already. noise pollution at it's finest.

Steve Bookman said...

Quick tour of this delightful place: