TIMES SQUARE, Manhattan (PIX11) — The Starlite Deli, a beloved deli in the heart of Times Square that has fed everyone from stagehands to stars since 1984, is closing its doors at the end of April.

Jung Min Kim, 71, and his family are closing the doors to their deli after 39 years in the theatre community. As one of his longtime customers said, it’s a “go-to” destination for lunch. But it was more than lunch; it was like visiting an old friend.

Kim, known by his stage name “Mr. Min,” has made sandwiches with a smile on West 44th Street for almost four decades. When he announced he was retiring, it was bittersweet.

His customers said his business survived because he works so hard, the food is delicious, and he has a huge heart. But Kim made the decision to leave because his rent is too high and he felt it was time to retire. 

Of his signature sandwiches, his most famous is the chicken cutlet. He has many celebrity customers, like Bernadette Peters. But his favorite people are stagehands.

Long-time customer Shannon Lobue said the friendship and memories would live on and it’s hard to say goodbye to one of the Theatre District’s longest-running businesses.

There are reports that stagehands and actors are working on getting Kim an honorary Tony and honorary gold card, which is only given to longtime beloved members of the Local One Stagehands’ Union.