Arriving July 1998, nine months after its closure, I didn’t make it to NYC in time to breath in the last wisps of hot dog steam from the Grand Luncheonette. And by the time I did make it what is currently being called “The Deuce” The Grand, as well as a good portion of the block between Broadway and 8th Ave, was demolished, or being demolished, to make way for what we have today (actually, most of what was there as part of “new” 42nd Street has also gone, replaced by other cardboard cutouts of fly-over state wonders, which is just as ignorable [spell check wants to change “ignorable” to “ignoble”, and you know, it may have a point…]). But there were still ghosts of that old Times Square hiding out here and there, and in fact there still are, just more so back then. I’d seen this video before, but something led me to it again this morning, and I post it here for your consideration.
You may notice that at one point Fred Hakim, the owner, says that his father worked there until the day before they took him to the hospital to die, at 83. A quick Google tells us that Fred too died when he was 83 (in April 2012), although several years after he last served a knish.