by Kevin Walsh

NOT being a Murray Hiller, I had never been in the Clover Deli at 2nd Avenue and East 34th Street, but its red and green neon sign had long been in my consciousness. The deli shut down in August 2020, after 72 years in business and 63 at this location, which means that this sign was likely installed in 1957, which happens to be the year I myself was installed. The deli was run by the third generation of the Cuttita family, who decided to call it a day in a year ravaged by the Covid Pandemic. I got this picture in July 2020 and at the height of summer, the two people you see here constituted a crowd, as they were amongst the few people venturing outdoors.

Fear not, neon sign mavens, because Tod Swormstedt’s American Sign Museum in Cincinnati is in the midst of rehabbing it and will be installing it soon. I have wanted to visit Cincy for some time, not only for the ASM but its downtown network of narrow brick alleyways, that I could explore for days. One of these years.

“One of these years” better be soon, I’m 64 already. As Father Coyle chalked on the blackboard one day in high school homeroom, “it’s later than you think.”

As always, “comment…as you see fit.” I earn a small payment when you click on any ad on the site.



Anonymous October 11, 2021 - 7:35 pm

went there many times, never got the credit it deserved among the great old NY delis!

Larry October 11, 2021 - 8:02 pm

I passed that place and went in there many times when I worked at NYU in the late 80’s

latigresse October 12, 2021 - 6:22 am

I remember this deli. Sad that it’s now gone, too.

christopher thomas brady October 12, 2021 - 4:13 pm

My favorite neons are the animated ones.
The old Horse’s Tail bar neon sign at Bdwy and 80th st. was huge and the tail swung back and forth

Peter October 12, 2021 - 6:55 pm

From what I read, the closing was partly because of This Disease Thing but also because the third-generation owners weren’t interested in keeping it going. It’s actually not at all uncommon for family businesses to close in the third generation. Making it to the fourth is an unusual accomplishment.

Anonymous October 13, 2021 - 2:09 pm

Best deli , great bread amazing tuna salad !
And the baked goods

Jonathan Baker October 14, 2021 - 5:52 pm

Yes we still read you
Our clicks will still feed you
When you’re 64


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