The death of Lee Papageorge more than a year ago left a hole in the heart of downtown.
He’d closed Oscar’s — the deli he owned for more than 40 years — just a week earlier.
The end of Oscar’s meant more than the loss of a place with great pastrami and pickles. There was now no place on Main Street for a meal with friends — a spot where regulars always sat at the same table, and everyone (or at least the counter guys) knew your name.
Rye Ridge — the popular Stamford and Rye Brook kosher-style deli — signed a lease. It’s taken many months to renovate the site. But the good news is: They’re opening in a couple of weeks.
The better news is: Some of Oscar’s old employees may be back.
And here’s the
icing on the cake lox on the bagel: The owner of the new deli arranged with the Papageorge family to hang the iconic Oscar’s mural in the same spot it had been since 1982.
Many regulars depicted on the wall are gone. So of course is Lee — the guy with the beard and red apron, all the way on the left.
Now he’s back, standing proudly with his friends and customers.
Rye Ridge’s reverence for the past is important. Here’s wishing them a run as long and successful as Oscar’s — and Lee’s.