It’s time to make one last pilgrimage to Russell Street Deli in Eastern Market. The owners of the beloved soup and sandwich spot tells Crain’s that the iconic restaurant will be closing down on September 1 — almost a month sooner than expected. It’s scheduled to serve its final corned beef sandwich on Saturday, August 31.
The 30-year-old Eastern Market staple had been scheduled to close on September 28, following a bitter public battle with building landlord Sanford Nelson. Restaurant owner Ben Hall and Nelson had feuded over who should be responsible for $50,000 worth of repairs at the property. Hall ultimately decided to shutter the business.
The Russell Street Deli dispute occurred amid heightened concerns over new investors buying up property in the popular food district. Nelson and his father Linden Nelson have purchase many properties housing iconic businesses in the area. Some of those businesses have since closed, raising fears that the market may lose some of its unique character. In response to the rapid change in the neighborhood, Eastern Market Partnership is now developing new protocols for doing business in the area and the Historic Designation Advisory Board is seeking to designate the area as a historic district.
Hall says he decided to move up the closing date in order to focus on Russell Street’s expanding wholesale soup business. Hall recently leased space at Eastern Market’s new food accelerator for his retail business and is also in talks for a new restaurant space elsewhere in the district.
• Russell Street Deli Moves Up Closing Date in Eastern Market [Crain’s]
• Russell Street Deli Prepares to Close in Eastern Market Due to Landlord Dispute [ED]
• Eastern Market Corporation May Step in to Help Stop Deli Closure [ED]
• All Russell Street Deli Coverage [ED]