Thursday, April 2, 2020

On Avenue B, Ben's Deli is closing for now; first time in 45 years

Text and photos by Stacie Joy

Ben (Ben Gibran, owner of Ben’s Deli at 32 Avenue B near Third Street) greets me at the door of the shop telling me the bad news.

"For 45 years we’ve been on Avenue B and we’ve never closed the store. Ever. Not after 9/11, not after Superstorm Sandy," he says. "But this, this virus is a new thing. Nobody knows what will happen. Every day more places close. My wife, my kids, all worried. I have grandbabies at the house. No one can get sick."

It’s a matter of days, Ben says, before he’ll shutter the store.

For how long? "I don’t know," he says, "maybe a month, maybe two? We will look at it day-to-day."

Ben’s son Haas tells me there’s still a good supply of bleach, which a lot of people have been looking for, and notes that beer has been selling well since the start of the pandemic shutdown.

They both hope people will come get some supplies (they’d like to sell all their perishable dairy supplies ASAP) before the upcoming closure and that everyone remains safe and healthy, so they can see their customers again when the reopen.


Choresh Wald said...

Thank you Stacie for all your reporting as always and especially these days.
Be well Ben and see you after all of this is over.

Anonymous said...

This is a great store and wonderful people! known them for 43 years!

Anonymous said...

Does DiBlasio have a plan to get food to us? Otherwise, we're all going to be starving in a couple of weeks. All the stores are going to close.

Anonymous said...

Good luck Ben and the entire family! I’ve been shopping there for 30 years, an awesome family and a valuable asset to the community. Stay safe all

Sam said...

God Bless Ben and his family, they fed us for many years. Will never forget them open and running off generator power after Superstorm Sandy. Just lovely people. Also much love to Oscar, the best Grill Man I ever met. Hope to visit them again once we are past this and live starts turning to normal.

Anonymous said...

What are their current hours of operation? I've tried calling several times today but no one answered.

Anonymous said...

Just walk there. That's how we find things nowadays.

Anonymous said...

Right thanks.

TM said...

Wishing Ben, his family and everyone there the best. We've lived a few blocks away for 10 years and they've always been amazing.

Afifa and Ray said...

Ben and Haas:
We hope you and your family survived the shut down without catching Covid 19.
Welcome back.
Can you please fix the compressor behind your store? We live above you (different building) and it's SO loud; it reverberates across the garden and back again. A true ear (and eye!) sore. Please! It was so nice and quiet while you were gone. :(
Thanks much in advance:
Afifa and Ray