Yesterday, we got a VIP sneak peek into the highly anticipated pop-up Carnegie Deli restaurant which will open on Saturday for one week, timed in conjunction with the second season of the hit Amazon series, The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel, which is filmed in New York City. Located at 201 Lafayette Street in Nolita, the Carnegie Deli reincarnation is set in the year 1958. As such, you will find it decorated with vintage details. Three pristine classic cars from the 1950s are parked out front, including a checker cab and a Ford Fairlane, along with a period-style bicycle for deliveries. Ads for the Gaslight Cafe, the comedy club in the show, are plastered on the phone booth on the sidewalk.
Everyone working there is in period garb (except the bouncer). Even your waitress might have the perfect “Midge” accent. A trio of men, Max, Lou or Bernie, might introduce themselves as the three owners (from 1958). Someone walks in who looks like the spitting image of Susie and an immaculately dressed ’50s era woman takes a seat in the corner. A delivery boy is perfect in a hat and messenger bag.
When you first enter, you’ll step into an entrance foyer with a wrap-around, wood-paneled take out counter on the right and photo booth on the left. The take-out counter, which you can actually order to go, has a mid-century style cash register and scale, a wall of canned goods, and the menu. A fun sign warns you in rhyme, “CAN’T DECIDE? STEP ASIDE.” The restaurant section just beyond the welcome stand where a maître d’ in a white deli jacket and black tuxedo checks you in if you have a reservation, or assigns you a table if you’ve come in off the line.
In the main restaurant area, the primary highlight is the row of upholstered leather booth tables on the left, aside a “Carnegie Wall of Fame” with old school headshots of notable actors and actresses, interspersed with photographs of scenes from The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel. Cafe style tables with bright red leather chairs round out the rest of the table options. A Seeburg jukebox sits below an exposed brick wall. You’ll also find a pale pink rotary telephone and an analog wall clock.
The tables are set for each seating with a placemat printed with the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel logo, napkins with the Carnegie Deli logo, and an appropriately mid-century style tableware with a fleur-de-lis pattern. You’ll also find an angular bottle of Heinz ketchup, a style no longer produced, and a peg game.
The Midge sandwich is, “over the top,” like Midge Maisel is, says our waiter, and comes loaded with pastrami, salami, cole slaw, and a special sauce between slices of rye bread. The Susie sandwich is a little more restrained, with slices of turkey, cole slaw, and the special sauce between white bread. Both sandwiches are 99 cents and you can get two pickles on the side for 50 cents. For drinks, a Dr. Brown’s soda (celery flavor), iced tea or coffee will cost you 50 cents. And for dessert there’s a tasty cheesecake (the slice is big!) or a black and white cookie for 50 cents. All proceeds from the Carnegie Deli popup for the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel will be going to a good cause: The Lower East Side Girls Club.
The Carnegie Deli pop up restaurant will open this Saturday December 1 and run through December 8. Advance reservations are sold-out but there will be a limited number of walk-in tables and anyone can enter to order to go or take a photo at the photo booth. See more photographs in our slideshow:
Next, check out the NYC Filming Locations for the Marvelous Mrs. Maisel and 11 iconic restaurants that have closed in NYC and 10 of NYC’s Lost Diners.