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Empire Deli on Austin Street closes, owner cites high rent and slow business


July 21, 2017 By Jason Cohen

After 18 years in Forest Hills, Empire Deli on Austin Street will shutter its doors Saturday.

Ye Chen, 40, of Fresh Meadows, who took over the store at 71-61 Austin Street eight years ago, said business has been slow and he can no longer afford the rent.

Chen said that the rent has increased 5 percent every July and this year it went up to $10,000. He said he asked the landlord to lower it, but his request was denied. He decided to leave and is not sure of his future plans.

“I wasn’t happy, but I had no choice,” Chen commented.

DNAinfo was first to report the story.

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10,000 that’s just crazy. I know similar size stores in midtown that don’t pay that much


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