Dishwasher of famed Carnegie Deli makes bid to become the owner

Carnegie Deli in Midtown in New York
Richard Levine | Corbis | Getty Images

A former dishwasher at New York's iconic Carnegie Deli has made a $10 million bid to save the famous restaurant and become its owner.

Sammy Musovic, whose first job after emigrating from what was then Yugoslavia three decades ago was washing dishes for $3 an hour at the deli, is offering $10 million to be its new owner and keep it open, Page Six reports.

Carnegie Deli is world-famous for its towering pastrami sandwiches, which have attracted celebrity customers since a young Woody Allen found solace in them.

The September announcement of the deli's closing by current owner Marian Harper Levine saddened many, especially Musovic.

Since immigrating to the U.S., Musovic went from washing dishes at the Carnegie Deli to owning multiple Manhattan restaurants: Sojourn, Vero and Selena Rosa.

Musovic initially offered $5 million to buy the deli, which the Levine family rejected. Now he is doubling the offer to $10 million, according to reports.

But the current owner, in a statement, says the deli is simply not for sale.

"Marian Harper first and foremost wishes to thank all of the loyal patrons, the media, and even many first time customers who came in today, for the amazing send off for Carnegie Deli's original location on 7th Avenue," the statement reads. "Carnegie Deli is not for sale."

"They are not considering any publicity inspired offers to buy the Carnegie Deli on 7th Avenue," it continues.

"Marian intends on keeping her father's legacy alive with the quality control through the family owned and operated meat processing plant and bakery in NJ that supplies the other Carnegie Deli locations in PA, Las Vegas, MSG and the US Open, as well as the sale of products direct to the customer and online."

Fans of Carnegie Deli remain hopeful for a 2016 miracle, or at least a last bite of the meat-packed sandwiches.

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