Legendary Cleveland restaurant abruptly closes after 67 years of business
After 67 years as a beloved Cleveland institution, Corky and Lenny’s, the iconic Jewish deli, has abruptly shuttered its doors. The deli’s fate remains uncertain, with a possibility of a future reopening in some form.
A recent phone message from the deli informs callers that it is temporarily closed and awaits a definitive reopening date. However, the message also conveys a glimmer of hope, stating that the owners are exploring potential options for a future iteration of Corky and Lenny’s.
The deli’s roots trace back to 1956 when Sanford “Corky” Kurland and Lenny Kaden partnered to bring their culinary expertise to the Cleveland dining scene. Their passion for Eastern European and American cuisine inspired the menu, which became a staple of Cleveland’s culinary landscape and a reflection of the city’s rich Jewish heritage.
The deli’s first location opened in South Euclid’s Cedar Center, a bustling hub of dining and shopping. Throughout the years, Corky and Lenny’s became a must-visit destination for countless celebrities passing through Cleveland. From Milton Berle to Norm Crosby, Totie Fields, Jackie Mason, David Letterman, and Zero Mostel, the deli’s signature corned beef had captured the hearts and taste buds of many.
Despite its enduring popularity, the deli faced challenges. Its original location in Cedar Center closed in early 2021, and the owners embarked on a journey to find a new home for the deli. Finally, a new location was secured in Woodmere’s Village Square, where Corky and Lenny’s continued its legacy.
However, the recent closure leaves a void in Cleveland’s culinary landscape and a sense of loss among its loyal patrons. While the future remains uncertain, there is a glimmer of hope that Corky and Lenny’s may find a way to revive its beloved tradition. Whether in its original form or a new iteration, the deli’s impact on Cleveland’s food scene and the hearts of its patrons will forever be etched in the city’s history.