Benny's Deli

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Benny's Delicatessen

Section: Lower Manhattan
Neighborhood: Greenwich Village
Address: 514 Hudson St., Hudson and Christopher.

In the middle of Greenwich Village and near the waterfront, just west of Hudson River along Hudson Sreet, is Benny's Delicatessen. An institution in the Village, it's a clean well-lighted place. This kosher deli was established in 1928 and it's famous for its soup and sandwiches. Benny's is a not so well-kept secret in Manhattan as it attracts New Yorkers from far and wide as well as the colorful Village locals, but it is rare that a tourist hears of the little local hang out at all.

Benny's is a small building right on the corner of Hudson and Christopher Streets in a triangle shaped block. All year round it has sidewalk seating as space heaters are cleverly stowed away under detachable awnings. An enclosure of plastic attaching from the awnings to a railing can be brought out for cold nights to stretch out onto the wide sidewalk.

As one enters the deli, they are greeted by the smells of fresh meats, cheeses, breads, and pastries and the proprietors, the Stanawitz family. Benny and his wife Madge run the counter, which is crowded with window case and counter displays, with wise old smiles on their wrinkled faces. Their eccentric middle aged daughters, June and Rachel, wait the row of five tables along the opposite wall of the counter in the small deli and the outside seating with a wise cracking remark here and there to the various characters that inhabit the Village and patronize their shop. Their sons run the back, preparing the food for the cases and handling the deliveries. Occasionally one of the strapping young men walks around behind the counter, refilling the cases and answering faithfully to their parents' needs for errands and other tasks.

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