Jay Parker, the owner of Ben’s Best in Rego Park, is going out of business, the latest casualty in the long attrition of Jewish delis that’s claimed institutions as popular and venerated as the Carnegie Deli.
I learned to salivate at the sight of chopped liver at a young age, and I would love to head over, pay my respects, and wolf down some hot pastrami and pickles before Ben’s Best is gone for good. But it’s hard to muster much sympathy for Parker when he tells anyone who’ll listen that he can’t stay solvent because of the Queens Boulevard bike lane.
The line Parker has been peddling is that Ben’s Best wasn’t done in by the punishing margins, skyrocketing beef prices, and shrinking market for kosher meat that have wiped out so many other Jewish delis. Nope, it was the bike lane’s fault.
As wild as that explanation may