NEW YORK (FOX 5 NEWS) - Anxious customers from all over the country waited in line to take one last bite of food from inside Carnegie Deli in Midtown Manhattan. Originally this location was supposed to close Saturday night, but because of New Year's Eve and street closures Friday was the last day to dig your teeth into an iconic pastrami sandwich.
Two lines ran all the way down 7th Avenue -- one for take-out and one for dine in -- as foodies from near and far braved the cold for hours for the chance to take a bite out of history.
But Upper East Side restaurant owner Sammy Musovic said the 80-year-old Carnegie Deli doesn't have to close. Previously, he offered $5 million to save the deli. He said keep it going would be a dream for him and like a gift to New York City. He said he raised his offer to $10 million. Musovic, who claims to have been a Carnegie dish washer 30 years ago, held a press conference outside the business to show off a $10 million check.
In response, a spokesperson for the deli said this location just isn't for sale. Cristyne Nicholas said that offers made during press conferences are usually publicity stunts.
So with pictures of celebrities staring down at them, the diners coped with the news the best way they knew how: by stuffing their faces and, of course, capturing it all on their phones.
Although the 7th Avenue location was closing for good at midnight, the owner stressed that locations remain at Madison Square Garden, in Pennsylvania, and in Las Vegas. She said the quality of the food there is exactly the same. But all the dedicated people inside and outside the 7th Avenue location said that nothing can ever replace the experience of eating inside such a historic city landmark.