Saturday, June 16, 2007

Quality and Persistence -- an unbeatable combination

Pastrami and rye was on the menu. Ham and wry was on the podium. That was the scene at 7th and Alvarado streets Friday as a lunchtime crowd celebrated the survival, against all odds, of the neighborhood's most unlikely business.

Langer's Delicatessen-Restaurant was marking its 60th anniversary on the corner opposite MacArthur Park, outlasting a Jewish customer base that long ago moved out and an unfortunate drug-dealing culture that moved in. He can joke about it now, so 94-year-old Al Langer was savoring the moment as Los Angeles officials praised him for hanging in there as they struggled for years to turn the neighborhood around. The street corner will be designated "Langer's Square" on Langer's 95th birthday, Jan. 23, City Council President Eric Garcetti announced.

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