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NYC's Carnegie Deli, a Celebrity Favorite, to Close After Almost 80 Years

by Ben Popken /
The famed Carnegie Deli in Midtown in New York on Tuesday, April 28, 2015.Richard Levine / Corbis via Getty Images

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So long, Carnegie Deli, the iconic Manhattan restaurant that boasted, "If you can finish your meal, we've done something wrong."

Almost as famous for its sandwich names — including the Paul Simon-inspired “50 Ways to Love Your Liver" — as it is for the full pound of meat that topped each sandwich — the deli's owner announced Friday that it would be shutting its doors at the end of 2016.

 The famed Carnegie Deli in Midtown in New York on Tuesday, April 28, 2015. Richard Levine / Corbis via Getty Images

Opened in 1937 just down the block from Carnegie Hall, the restaurant was frequented by celebrities and staffed by waiters effusing a kind of blunt New York charm as they served up typical Jewish fare like matzoh ball soup and knishes. The deli also served smoked meats cured in its own basement, and homemade cheesecake.

Woody Allen famously ate at the Carnegie Deli, and even had the restaurant star in one of his movies. Nowadays, tourists are more likely to fill the booths — along with Hillary Clinton and Stephen Colbert.

 Carnegie Deli sandwich on April 29, 2013 in New York City. Donald Bowers / Getty Images

In a statement emailed to NBC News, owner Marian Harper said, “As you may know, the restaurant business is one of the hardest jobs in New York City. At this stage of my life, the early morning to late night days have taken a toll, along with my sleepless nights, and grueling hours that come with operating a restaurant business in Manhattan."

"I’ve reached a time in my life when I need to take a step back," she added.

But there's still time to get a slice (or a pound) of Manhattan: The restaurant will remain open until its 40th anniversary in its current location in December. After that, Harper will focus on licensing the deli's other locations and selling the store's products wholesale.

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