June 8, 2018 By Christian Murray
Ben’s Best, the Kosher deli that has been located in Rego Park for nearly 75 years, is closing.
The owner of the 96-40 Queens Blvd. establishment made the announcement on the restaurant’s website yesterday.
“Regretfully, after seventy-three wonderful years, Ben’s Best will be closing its doors on Saturday June 30,” the deli announced. “We are very grateful to everyone who has supported us and we hope to see you one last time.”
The deli is owned by Jay Parker, whose father Benjamin opened the famed deli in 1945. The deli is known for its old-fashioned pastrami, matzo ball soup and fresh rye bread.
The deli has struggled in recent times, with Parker attributing much of the decline to the Department of Transportation’s installation of protected bicycle lanes on Queens Boulevard, which required the reduction of parking spaces.
The DOT put down protected bicycle lanes by his establishment in August as part of Phase 3 of the Queens Boulevard redesign. The city removed 198 parking spaces to make way for the bike lanes on the boulevard between Eliot Avenue in Rego Park and Yellowstone Boulevard in Forest Hills.
Parker has said that many of his customers have struggled to find parking and many have simply given up on his deli.
“We’re down 17 percent and this is my busy time,” Parker told the Queens Chronicle in November. “I’m spending hundreds of thousands of dollars in marketing to get people to come here. But my city is inconveniencing them and they’re going to go somewhere else.”
Parker was not immediately available for comment.