Sunday, 10 February 2013

Classic Skyview Deli in Riverdale Closes

Even as the classic kosher delis of New York have closed one by one, Riverdale has remained a deli haven, the home of no less than three Jewish delis: Liebman's, Loeser's, and Skyview. And not kosher-style, but actually kosher! The real thing. Not a one of them less than fifty years of age.

Now it is the home of two. On a recent visit, I discovered that Skyview had closed. I quizzed three merchants on the ancient strip mall that used to home Skyview and none of them knew exactly when the business had closed. One said a year ago; one said six months ago; one said two months ago. None knew why the family eatery had shuttered.

I went to Skyview once, but it was a memorable experience. I recall a very eccentric, ornery owner. I recall an excellent meal. And I too a picture of this wall photo of how the place looked in the '50s or '60s.

Skyview opened in 1950 on Riverdale Avenue right near West 258th Street. As such, it was the oldest standing Bronx deli still in existence. It was also Glatt Kosher, as opposed to just kosher, meaning that it was super strict in its adherence to the laws of kashrut. In 2007, the ownership changed hands, with Danny Salamat assuming control. (Apparently, there have been a few owners in recent years.)

Now, I'm a little fuzzy about the origin story of this place. But, looking at the old photo more closely now, I realize the sign actually says "J. Liebman's Skyview Kosher Delicatessen." Could this be the space were Liebman's started? Did Liebman's move to its current location, and Skyview get taken over by new owners? Liebman's was supposedly founded in 1953, not 1950. Questions remain...

You can read more about the place here.

Here is the business that has taken the space now:

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