Greenblatt’s Deli and Fine Wines will be closing permanently today after 95 years of business in West Hollywood. The iconic Jewish deli, which has fed countless Angelenos and Hollywood stars over the years, will close due to the difficulty of running the business and finding staff, says a source at the restaurant. Eater confirmed the news today as dozens of diners and longtime fans were loading up on sandwiches, deli meats, wine bottles, and other items during its last day of operation. A source at the restaurant said one of the reasons why it was closing so abruptly was because owner Jeff Kavin wanted to “close gracefully” before the Jewish high holidays, which are usually an extremely busy time for the restaurant.
The source also told Eater that Kavin will look to sell Greenblatt’s, but that if another buyer wasn’t interested, then it’s unclear if the deli and wine shop would ever reopen. The tagline for Greenblatt’s has always been “the wine merchant that fronts as a deli,” pointing to the restaurant’s extensive collection of vintage and affordable wines that customers can open for a small fee in the ground floor or upstairs dining rooms. Today around two in the afternoon, the famous upstairs dining room, with its soft, warm light and colorful stained glass windows, was full of people. The dining room at Greenblatt’s had been closed for the most part of the past year and a half due to the pandemic and only recently reopened its dining room a few months ago. Because of its proximity to late night clubs and comedy venues, Greenblatt’s had always been open until late, often until 2 a.m.
Greenblatt’s was founded in 1926 by Herman Greenblatt, back when Sunset Boulevard was still a dirt road. The Kavin family acquired the business in the 1940s and have owned it for three generations. According to its website, celebrities from Marilyn Monroe and Marlon Brando to Errol Flynn and Billie Holiday were regular customers. Former Gourmet Magazine critic Colman Andrews called Greenblatts’s the “best pastrami in the country” while actor Halle Berry told Esquire Magazine that it was her “favorite deli...that houses the best wine in the city.”
Though the news comes without much notice, there may be hope that a buyer such as Irving and Shelli Azoff, who purchased famous Beverly Hills deli Nate n’ Al Delicatessen, as well as the Apple Pan in West LA, could come in to save Greenblatt’s from closing forever. Until a new operator buys the restaurant (if that ever happens), 7:30 p.m. today is the last time to order a sandwich and pick up some wine from Greenblatt’s.