JEWISH STYLE DELI
Steven is often addressed as Hershel by customers who don’t know his real name. Far from taking offense from the mistake, Steven says that being called Hershel brings a smile to his face. It serves as a reminder of the deli’s inspiration.
During World War II, the real Hershel and his family owned and operated a market/deli in the northeastern, Polish town of Dynow. One day, the German SS troops marched through town. Knowing what their presence meant, Hershel raced home to find only his youngest brother, Steven’s father. Hershel heroically scooped up his younger brother and took cover. Wounded and terrified, they escaped to the Russian border. From there, the two brothers were transported to Siberia for refuge. After six long years, the war was finally over; Hershel and his brother managed to immigrate to America. Their new home felt like heaven after what they had been through, they truly loved America.
Steven’s father found work in the factories of New York, then relocated to Philadelphia. Hershel used his knowledge of the family business to be employed in Manhattan’s lower East side as a chef at Kat’z Deli, in 1946. He loved what he did and used many of his family recipes he brought from Eastern Europe. After Kat’z Deli was sold in 1989, Hershel retired feeling as though he made his mark since. By then, Kat’z Deli had become a landmark in New York City.