NEW YORK - Some establishments describe themselves as "old-school", but Constantine's Deli on 48th Avenue in Queens has the pictures to prove it.
The family-owned deli first opened its doors back in 1931. Since then, three different owners have been at the helm, most recently Louis Di Marco, who himself started working here in 1973.
"You spend more time with people here than your own family, you make a lot of friends," Di Marco said.
But after being a staple in this neighborhood for more than 90 years, on Tuesday, December 26, Constantine's Deli will be closing its doors for good. A one-two punch, they say, from a change in the tastes of local residents and the cost of supplies skyrocketing once the pandemic hit.
Di Marco says the cost of all the goods he buys has gone up too much.
"Eggs, for example, $20 a case before the pandemic. During the pandemic, $120 a case. How can you make a profit with that?"
News of the deli closing has prompted visits from customers who tell FOX 5 NY that the deli is a local institution and that losing it is akin to "losing a member of the family."
Di Marco told FOX 5 NY that Constantine's closing opens the door to him spending more time with family. In particular, he says he is looking forward to spending more time with his grandchildren.