Paddington’s popular American restaurant Reuben’s Deli & Bar has closed permanently

Paddington’s famous American restaurant, Reuben’s Deli & Bar, has closed its doors for good. Husband and wife owners Manny and Peggy Rosenberg took to Facebook Monday night to announce the closure.

“To all of our customers, friends and fans,” the post read. “It’s a bittersweet moment for us as we relay the news that we have permanently closed Reuben’s Deli & Bar. We settled in with the new buyer today, who will be developing their own concept and not negotiating like Reuben .

“It was an absolute honor to get to know the best fucking customers in the world. We have met some amazing people over our three years and have many new friends. We will also miss our neighbours: the Paddington traders who have been so supportive.

“We’re glad you enjoyed our favorite American dishes so much. But the pleasure was ours. I love you all.”

Talk to Large format Tuesday night, an emotional Manny Rosenberg said the decision to close the restaurant was not made easily; but Reuben was facing two years of debt accumulated during the pandemic. The straw that broke the camel’s back was Manny’s recent shoulder surgery which will likely take six months to fully heal. Luckily, at the right time, a potential buyer recently approached the couple to take over the space, with the deal being finalized on Monday.

“What I did was what they call a ‘reverse total shoulder replacement,'” says Rosenberg. “It’s my right shoulder. If it was my left shoulder I could probably get through, but because it’s my right shoulder I can’t get through chopping cheesesteaks or something – although I’ve tested myself and that I can smoke a brisket with one hand,” he laughs.

Rosenberg says recovering from the pandemic was potentially going to take years, with or without a good shoulder.

“We never had a chance to develop and build the restaurant,” he says. “It was like trying to get out of a sand dune, and you make a little bit of progress, but you keep going backwards. So, with me potentially out for six months, maybe the time was right.

“The community has been great…I actually don’t want to look at it too much – I’ve only just started – with our Facebook page and our Instagram page. Private messages and people sharing things on their pages and in their stories, I’m like, ‘Wow, we’ve really had an impact.’

“This year we had a very good exchange week after week, but we still had a lot of headaches. And not being able to be there day to day would have made things worse. Still, it’s emotional in many ways .

Rosenberg wouldn’t rule out Reuben being revived in the future, or a similar New York sandwich and burger concept under a different name, but says the focus for now is on his health.

“We didn’t sell the company name, the recipes and who we are,” he says. “But I don’t want to hint at anything else. I need to take time off to be healthy.

Reuben’s Deli & Bar opened in mid-2019 and was an immediate hit with Paddington locals. It was part of a new wave of quality venues in the suburbs that now include European-inspired bistro Nota, wine bar Noir, pizzeria Elementi and Vietnamese restaurant Ngon. But he had barely seven months of solid trading under his belt before the coronavirus called in March 2020 and triggered Brisbane’s first closure of food and drink establishments. Many snap locks followed, putting enormous pressure on sites’ results.

Brisbane has had a chance to weather the pandemic compared to southern capitals, but Rosenberg suspects there are many businesses in the city like Reuben’s that have managed to weather a tough two years, only to now face a lot of others trying to get out of debt. financial situations.

“A lot of people are like us and they understand what the issues are,” he says. “And with the help of the government with some payments and this and that, it may have saved some time, but it didn’t really solve the problem. It’s nobody’s fault. You can’t Blame nothing. It’s just, ‘Holy shit, bad timing.’

“In many ways, it’s a bit of a blessing that the settlement just happened. [when it did] … But then it hits you. You’re like, ‘Really? Wow, okay. You mean, are we done? Really?’ I don’t feel like I lost anything. It’s still part of us.

“We really did it on our terms. We didn’t just close the doors for other reasons or because we were locked out. We closed because it made sense and someone bought it because it made sense to them. Things went in the right direction.

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