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Aug 22, 2002 07:19 PM

The 5 Boroughs Deli Closed

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A week or so ago, the Five Boroughs Deli rather mysteriously closed. My girlfriend, who works in the area, has not been able to get any details, but she does know that the staff was not informed until the last day.

A sign on the door reads, "Business For Sale." Another reads, "Restaurant Equipment For Sale."

I think we can agree on the fact that it wasn't Chicago's best deli, by a longshot. However, I think that it did serve the immediate area quite well. I am also of the opinion that it was vastly superior to Brett's, Wells St. Deli, and the TWO Subways.

Erik M.

The 5 Boroughs Deli
738 N. Wells

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  1. While we're on the subject of places closing, 773 Mediterranean or whatever it was called, the Turkish place on Irving discussed here last spring, has apparently closed and will become another branch of the inexplicably popular Cousins family of Turkish restaurants, which I've never thought were better than passable and certainly ranked far behind Turkish Cuisine, Anatolia Kebab, and A La Turka. Probably behind 773, too, but I never got there.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Mike G

      Yeah, I noticed that. I didn't get all of the details, but I noticed some sign to that effect as I rode past it on my bike, a couple weeks ago.

      I actually know--via a friend--the owner, so will not comment any further.

      I'm with you on Cousins...

      Erik M.

      1. re: Erik M.

        I need a haircut so I'll have to go back to the Turkish haircut shop on Lincoln in the same stretch as Anatolia Kebap and a new Turkish gift shop (Balkans look out!) When I've gotten my hair cut there in the past ($5 can't beat the price) the Turkish women were all getting their hair done for Saturday night at 773 (apparently music and dance being more important than food).

        As someone said earlier, go figure.

    2. I think that location is bad. Earth was there, which we liked, but it never had too many people in it and closed. I heard it moved somewhere else? Across the street Home closed, then Grapes seemed to never open - or maybe it was open for a minute and a half? There were signs all over that one for non-payment of city bills. Down the street one block S. there was a french bistro that never made any money and closed, we also liked that one. In fact it had GREAT reviews, I forget the name, though.

      1 Reply
      1. re: leek

        The French bistro was Savarin. I work nearby and was never overly impressed with 5 Boroughs. The sandwiches were ok, the bagels were good, but there was always an overly long wait, even if it wasn't crowded, and, in my opinion, the place was a bit expensive for what it was and what you got.

        As far as location goes, I don't know why restaurants can't make it in that space. Wells Street gets good foot traffic, there are plenty of well-heeled tourists visiting the art galleries, and the residential population is growing by the week. I think its just a matter of someone putting the right formula together. I mean, Club Lago has been at the same location, a block away, for how long now, 50 years? And that area was pretty crappy for a while in the 70s and 80s.