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.