Liebman’s Deli

  • WHERE: 552 W 235th Street (Johnson Avenue), The Bronx, NY 10463
  • PHONE: (718) 548-4534
  • WHAT: Classic Jewish deli fare
  • SIGNATURE DISH: Pastrami on rye ($19.45)

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – At Liebman’s Deli in Riverdale, little has changed since 1953.

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“We continue to do what we do,” owner Yuval Dekel said.

The Dekel family bought the business in 1980. When his father Joseph died in 2002, Yuval took over, leaving behind a music career as a drummer in a heavy metal band called Irate.

These days, he supervises the operation and makes the pastrami.

“The real traditional kosher delis serve kosher food and typically serve whole cuts of meat that have been cured, like pastrami and corned beef,” he said. “There were delis almost on every other block in the Bronx throughout the ’50s and the ’60s.”

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Those numbers have dwindled, but Liebman’s continues to draw crowds.

“We have people from all ages, all backgrounds come here and enjoy eating our food and just being a part of our traditions,” he said.

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Karen Armstrong comes for lunch every Tuesday, the day her favorite split pea soup is served.

Howard Burkat appreciates the kosher menu. “It’s what my grandmother used to make,” he said.

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For Yuval, Liebman’s is not only his workplace; it’s also where he met his wife.

Nina Dekel first traveled to New York City after spending a year and eight months in the Israeli army. She found a job at Liebman’s and never left.

“Liebman’s is more like a home to me. It’s not my job,” she said. “I wake up in the morning, and it’s the first thing I want to do and be in.”

Her husband agrees.

“It’s our job. It’s our lifeline. It’s our tradition. I really couldn’t imagine living without this place,” he said.

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