Saturday, March 13, 2021



One of the greatest, and one of my favorites, has gone. After temporarily shuttering during the pandemic, Eisenberg's sandwich shop, near the Flatiron since 1929, has closed for good. A For Lease sign is in the window.

I went by yesterday and talked with building manager Jackie Valiente who told me that she and the building owner would love to save Eisenberg's, but they need someone to take it over and keep it as it is. "Someone who wants the old Eisenberg's," she said, "the old concept of New York." That concept, said customer Arnold Engelman, is simple. "Eisenberg's is what New York's all about," he told me. "People gathering in places they know, knowing the owners and the owners knowing them. This doesn't exist anymore."

Arnold has been coming to Eisenberg's since he was a kid, growing up on 11th Street. Jackie has been eating at Eisenberg's since 1976. It's the kind of place you keep going to forever, always getting your favorite dish. I first went to Eisenberg's in 1995. I worked nearby and my boss took me, saying I had to have the best tuna salad sandwich on earth. He was right. I've never ordered anything else at Eisenberg's. It's been the tuna sandwich for 25 years.

When the place sold in 2018, I panicked. I told the new owner, hotelier Warren Chiu, not to fuck it up and he didn't. He let it be. But the pandemic was too much to keep it going. I got take-out from Eisenberg's as much as I could during the spring and summer of 2020--and worried each time that it was my last dish of tuna salad sandwich, chips, and Cel-Ray from the place. 

Last meal, with Purell

Is there a chance for a Hail Mary?

"Tell people we need someone to save Eisenberg's," Jackie told me. Angels have shown up before. When Josh Konecky took it over about fifteen years ago, he kept it as it was--greasy and authentic--and people flocked, crowding the red swivel stools for miles. Recently, customers stepped in to save the Astor barber shop, taking it over and leaving it just as it should be. This can happen and it needs to happen for Eisenberg's--soon.

The shop's slogan is "You either get it or you don't," and Jackie says, "We need someone who gets it. Or else there's no use." Unfortunately, "The only offers we've got are from a pizza place and a Starbucks." Either option would be an absolute tragedy and a slap in the face of this legendary and greatly beloved spot. 

If you're an angel and you "get it," please step up and save Eisenberg's. If you're a pizza place or Starbucks, please fuck right off and die. 

Jackie says the best way to reach out is to contact the brokers at Cushman & Wakefield: Sean Moran 212-841-7668 or Molly Sandza 212-841-7955.

Eisenberg's sold
Eisenberg's Not Vanishing
Eisenberg's U-Bet

No comments: