NEW YORK (PIX11) — After 15 months recovering from fire damage, Sarge’s Deli of Murray Hill reopened Thursday welcoming both long-time locals and newcomers from all over the world.
“The fire took everything,” owner Andrew Wengrover said. “The only thing we could save was a couple of the pictures and the lamps.”
Wengrover is the great-grandson of the original “Sarge,” Abe Katz. The business, established in 1964, has been in his family for 50 years.
Wengrover’s mother started working at Sarge’s when she was ten. Andrew spent a lot of time at Sarge’s as a child, and started working full-time in 2008.
“The most memorable moment I’ve had at Sarge’s was the reopening yesterday,” Wengrover said. “It was super exciting to see all the locals — everyone’s fired up.”
Despite cheerful appearances, the 15 months of recovery was extremely difficult for Wengrover and his team.
“It was really tough. There was a lot of red tape problems with the city, and of course, insurance.”
“Everything needed to be replaced — but I wanted everything to stay the same,” Wengrover remembers.
“I want people to walk in, and know they’re still in Sarge’s.”
For anyone who still hasn’t had the chance to try Sarge’s, Wengrover’s advice is this:
“Definitely have our pastrami. We’re one of the last places in New York that cures in-house,” Wengrover said.
“I’d put it up against anybody’s, I mean that.”