Westside Staple Junior’s Deli Closing After Decades

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WESTWOOD, Calif. (KTLA) — It’s been a Westside staple for decades, but soon Junior’s Deli will be closing its doors.

Longtime employes were told on Wednesday that the deli would close by the end of the year. A rent hike is to blame, along with slumping business.

Brothers David and John Saul co-own the business, which was started by their father, Marvin, back in 1959.

Marvin opened the delicatessen on Pico Boulevard after a failed stint as a uranium miner in Utah. Junior was his nickname as a child.

Celebrities including Bruce Willis and Hank Azria were known to patronize the restaurant.

And Mel Brooks purportedly wrote parts of his film comedy “History of the World Part 1” in the dining room.

The deli moved from Pico to its current location on Westwood Boulevard in 1967. The 11,000-square-foot space also includes a bakery and a catering business.

Each year from 1971 on, Marvin Saul worked out the rental agreement with Beverly Hills-based landlord Four Corner Investments.

But just over a year ago, he died at 82. And this year, the negotiations broke down over a proposed rise in the rent, David Saul said.

He says that the company is not willing to budge on the rent. KTLA contacted Four Corner Investments, but did not get a response.

Business has also been tough in recent years, according to the brothers. In the early 2000s, Junior’s pulled in more than $7 million a year in revenue.

But sales have slumped 20 percent over the last three years, and at the same time, food prices have surged.

The deli’s 95 employees say they’re shocked and saddened by the news of the closure. Many have been working at Junior’s for decades.

“We’ve been for a long time together. It’s like a family,” said a teary Jose Moreno, who has worked at the deli for 32 years.

The brothers say they hope to eventually be able to re-open the deli in a different location.

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  • One man one voice

    Another failing business closes! Thousands close every year. Why is this NEWS? Just because some actor ate there, it does not make it the Mecca of food.

    • Frenchmaid

      In this case, I believe it! Four Corners investments are the greediest Landlords in the business. Ask the tenants at Beverly Drive/Charleville and Brentwood Plaza!

  • Kimball

    We used to eat breakfast there all the time when we lived in Brentwood. It had a separate "non-smoking" room in the early 1990's. It was great for kids: big safe high chairs, friendly wait staff and a big fish tank. I will really miss that place. Can't blame the developer for wanting more money–its his property after all– but I bet whoever replaces Juniors won't last three years and it'll be vacant again. Just like what happened in Westwood when the landlords booted the old places for some "here today, gone tomorrow" jeans store. Oh well. Thanks Juniors.

  • Leon Pink

    Juniors is one of the best Deli's in Los Angeles! Unfortunately Marvin's biggest mistake was not purchasing the property when he had the opportunity. David and Jon grew up and learned the business from Marvin and have been wonderful ambassadors. Customers, including Actors, who frequented Juniors conducted a lot of business there and it was fun being part of that crowd and known by their Family.

    However, in the end it's the economy, patrons cutting back and Four Corners Investments looking for ways to maximize their investment.

    I truly have enjoyed every minute there and wish all the employees of Juniors success in landing a new location.

  • Bob

    I live near there, and have had a feeling for a while that all the new restaurants (associated with the theaters around the corner on Pico) would likely spell the end of Juniors.

    Just hope this little 'Four Corners' outfit doen't put in something obnoxious…

  • Rambone

    I order catering breakfasts for our Company in Century City and they are great to work with and really professional you get the sense that its still family operated unlike some of the corporate establishments that offer a little more bang for your buck but basically do not cook most of their foods on site and basically mass order from other establishments unlike Juniors where the food actually tastes and looks some cook in thir kitchen just cut the fruit or Juiced the Oranges! We will miss you here in Century City Juniors!!!

  • Y's 122

    Four Corners can't take all the blame here. They tried to reach an agreement and even lowered the rent but the brothers wanted more! There's always two sides to every story and I know of this one first hand. Four Corners is also a business just like Junior's Deli. We cant blame them for the slump in the delis business. After all these years the father always managed to work out a deal.. Hmm I wonder how come the sons can't? Is making a bigger profit more important then keeping the business in the same location? I wonder which one is being Greedy here??

    • Turd Ferguson

      You are an idiot and the reason Subway and Starbucks are thriving selling crap food and coffee. The dumbing down of the USA (Idiocracy).

  • nancy953

    my classmate's ex-wife makes $67 every hour on the internet. She has been without a job for seven months but last month her income was $17038 just working on the internet for a few hours. Here's the site to read more jump15.comCHECK IT OUT

    • MARY

      really!!!!! And what was the startup fees???? I already checkout places like this "working from home" and they are nothing but rip off artists!!!!

  • lalu

    KTLA: I suspect that the landlord wants to demolish building and "develop something more profitable" than the present structure, and this is the easiest way. This is illegal. They want to avoid CEQA. This building qualifies for the City's registry and for the state's REgister of Historic Places

  • Jeff

    Hey Langer's….Are you listening? With nearby Jerry's (yuck!), Fromin's, Zucky's and Factor's, you would literally eat up the competition! We have been patiently waiting for you on the Westside since the beginning of time. Now is your chance…GO FOR IT!!