After 20 years in Greenpoint, the final day of business at American Deli Market (97 Franklin St.) will be Wednesday, Nov. 7. “We wanted to renew in 2016, since then we’ve been on a month-to-month tenancy,” said Yvette Camacho, who has owned and operated the deli with her husband Dennis since its opening in 1998.
The Camachos have been in protracted negotiations for years with the landlord, offering on multiple occasions to purchase the building. “Some of our customers even offered to help us buy the building,” she said.
There’s a building on Greenpoint Avenue that the Camachos are negotiating a move into, but the significantly higher rent and the cost of improvements are restrictive: “The rents are extremely high…it’s much higher than we’re paying now,” Camacho said.
The deli offers affordable lunch options for Greenpoint and built a loyal customer base with their baked chicken and empanadas. The Camachos are also in talks with Franklin Pizza (109 Franklin St.) to continue serving lunch while finding a new location.
With its old New York facade and faded signage, the American Deli is a popular filming location and can be spotted in movies such as “Sleepers.” “Robert de Niro has shot there three times, a bunch of independent videos filmed there too,” said Camacho.
Most recently, Tituss Burgess from the Netflix series “Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt” can be seen in front of the deli in a parody of Beyonce’s “Lemonade.”
Photographer Eric Espino took a series of photographs of businesses facing displacement, including the American Deli, that will display in Times Square on Friday, Nov. 2.
For the American Deli fans who want to see their beloved bodega in the center of the universe, images of the deli will appear this Friday for 15-second rotations on the large screens at 42nd Street and 7th Avenue in Manhattan from 7 – 8 p.m.