Iconic New Jersey deli, featured in 'Sopranos' prequel, damaged in fire

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Tuesday, July 2, 2019
Iconic New Jersey deli, featured in 'Sopranos' prequel, damaged in fire
Anthony Johnson reports on the fire that tore through an iconic deli in Newark.

NEWARK, New Jersey (WABC) -- An iconic deli in Newark is closed after a fire tore through the restaurant Monday.

The flames broke out at Hobby's Delicatessen & Restaurant just after lunch, with patrons still inside. Luckily, no injuries were reported.

The owners aren't sure when they'll be able to fully reopen for business, but there was an outpouring of support at the location Tuesday.

"It brings tears to the eyes, just the number of phones calls and text messages," owner Michael Brummer said. "I'm surprised my phone isn't ringing while we're talking."

The eatery has been a staple of the downtown area since the 1920s, with the Brummer family taking over in 1962.

Michael and his brother Marc grew up in the business and took over for their father Sam, who was a D-Day veteran known for serving the people of Newark.

"We love working together as a family," Marc said.

Hobby's is famous for their corned beef and pastrami, which is always in demand.

"It's like home," restaurant worker Kathy Reed said. "This is my family, and I love coming here."

It also recently served as a backdrop for the upcoming "Sopranos" prequel.

Now, the calls keep coming in for orders waiting for Hobby's to reopen.

"It's really humbling as people think of you and the community," Michael said. "We love Newark."

The business was badly damaged, and while one section is expected to open Wednesday, the main restaurant area is expected to be shuttered for a long time.

"No one was hurt," Michael said. "This is all money, and we want to be back as soon as possible."

Hobby's is a deli that serves all, from current Supreme Court justices to the regulars, and the business is a labor of love and a family affair.


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