New Deli (not in India)

For my friends in Los Angeles: We mourn the loss of Junior's Delicatessen over at Pico and Westwood but here's what's going into that building in its place: Lenny's Delicatessen. The webpage acts like the place is already open for business but it isn't yet. No word on when.

I don't have a good feeling about this. This is reportedly the same Lenny's Deli that used to be out in Pacific Palisades. It opened, got a bad reputation, then closed in a short span of time. Assuming they do a better job at the new address, they have some high hurdles. The landlords there gave Junior's a series of rent cuts to keep the place open but finally reached the point where they couldn't or wouldn't lower the amount further…and Junior's couldn't keep the doors open without another cut.

A new tenant will presumably be paying a higher rate. How might Lenny's succeed where Junior's couldn't, offering what is essentially the same menu? Junior's, in spite of declining quality and inclining prices, still had a good reputation with most folks and a history as part of the neighborhood. A new delicatessen there is going to have to live up to that rep even after Junior's couldn't. I hope they succeed but I have the mental image of Sisyphus trying to roll an immense matzo ball up the side of a mountain.