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Founder Of Art's Delicatessen Passes Away

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Photo by Krista Simmons/LAist
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Art Ginsburg, founder of the famous Art's Delicatessen in Studio City, has passed away at the age of 78 after a long battle with non-Hodgkin's lymphoma, which he had been fighting for many years.

Ginsburg was born in New York City, but moved to L.A. as a teenager. He was a champion of the L.A. deli scene and believed it deserved respect from square one. He attended L.A. Valley College, working at a cousin's deli building sandwiches to put himself through school.

He then opened Art's in 1957 with a $3,000 loan from family members. It's since become an industry mainstay.

Says The Times:

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Just a matzoh-ball's throw from movie studios and stars' homes, Art's Deli became a show business schmoozing spot as well as a neighborhood institution. During a writers' strike in 1988, entertainment executives would quiz Ginsburg about how much food the out-of-work scribes had ordered — a sign, perhaps, of how close they were to a deal. Stars like Steve Martin, Ed Asner, Mickey Rooney and Richard Dreyfuss would frequently come in for a sandwich or a cup of soup. Warner Brothers executives reserved a table every Saturday morning and at times Ginsburg would cater meals for the corporate jet.

No doubt many of L.A.'s up-and-coming nouveau delis have Art to thank for paving the way.