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Ben’s Kosher Deli reopens Greenvale spot after upgrades, marks 50 years in business

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Ben's Kosher Deli Long Island

Long Island’s famed Ben’s Kosher Deli marked two milestones with a gala Monday night.

The party served not only as the grand reopening of its newly renovated and expanded Greenvale location in Wheatley Plaza, it also helped recognize 50 years in business for Ben’s Kosher Deli on Long Island and NYC.

“It’s been an interesting journey,” said Ben’s owner and founder, Ronnie Dragoon, “And like I say to my landlords, how many businesses do you know that have been in operation for 50 years under the same owner? Not many.”

“I”m just happy that I’ve lived long enough to see it,” he said with smile.

The renovated Greenvale location opened in 1982, a decade after Dragoon’s first location in Baldwin opened in 1972.

“Baldwin went bankrupt twice, so it took me a long time to get up to speed,” he said.

Dragoon’s father, Ben, had spent years bouncing between several famous New York kosher delis, including the Carnegie, the Stage, and Lou G. Siegel’s, before finally opening his own deli in the early ‘70s.

For those who might remember, that was called Ben’s Deli and it was on W. 72nd St.

After working with his father in Manhattan for several years, Ronnie struck out on his own and opened in Baldwin.

Today, with Baldwin long closed, there are six locations:

Greenvale, Woodbury, Carle Place, Manhattan, Bayside and Boca Raton, Fla.

“I love this business. I’ve been passionate about it for 50 years. I’ve given it everything I’ve had,” Dragoon told those in attendance Monday night. “In fact, my wife says to me, ‘I think you love Ben’s more than you love me. And I say, ‘That’s not true, because at night I want to go home to you.'”

photos by Michael White

Ronnie Dragoon of Ben’s Kosher Deli addressing the crowd in Greenvale Monday night.