Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Retro Tuesday: Ben's a slice of Montreal history

Happy Retro Tuesday faithfull readers and friends!

By now I'm sure you know that I love a things vintage. So I was realy excited to see an article in The Montreal Gazette on Ben's Delicatessen . Ben's was the oldest deli in Montreal. It was opened in 1908 by Lithuanian immigrant Ben Kravitz. It served well known delicaties such as smoked meat, chopped liver, latkes, corn beef and cabbage and assorted sandwiches. Don't forget the Kosher pickles!

It relocated in the 50's to the corner of Metcalfe and Maisonneuve Sts. The interior never really changed...yellow and green formica tables, retro-style stools and counters and a wall covered with autographed pictures of celebrities. Every smoked-meat lover and tourist had to go there at least once!


My dad was a regular. A a matter of fact my dad looooves smoked-meat! 

The employees became unionized in 1994. The went on strike in 2006 asking for a raise and improved working conditions. By late 2006 the owners, now the 3rd generation, had decided to definitely closed the joint after 98 years!
The front doors after the closing.


The McCord museum acquired most of the inside artifacts. So we won't forget the joy Ben's brought us for nearly 100 years!

Too bad the fries were of the frozen variety!
You know how I feel about fries! They have to be freshly fried!

If ever you want to read the entire article here's the LINK 

In the meantime be sure to visit my pal's Tracy super blog Crazy Suburban Mom for more Retro deliciousness!

6 comments:

KobysCache said...

Loved Ben's! Sending an email with a pic of my girls there a few (!) years back...

Anna said...

Very interesting post, and a new museum to check out the next time I get back to Montreal.

Maureen said...

OMG - I spent my fair share of time in Ben's. In 1986 when I was pregnant with my 2nd child, I worked in the building diagonally across the street. Needless to say working next to Ben's when pregnant.... ya - I was there a lot! Oh the latkes were yummy! It's agood thing I took a year off for maternity leave!

Alyssa said...

That deli counter reminds me of the one in our five and dime when I was a kid! Love the photos.

Jenifir said...

I will have to check out the McCord next time I am in Montreal. Ben's was always on my todo list but alas...
Speaking of retro eateries, I have noticed that a new A&W in big box territory looks to be resurrected 1950's design although that does not really make me want to go there.

De tout, de rien said...

Oh how I loved Ben's deli! My husband and I went a few times when we first started dating. Best potato latkes! I loved the fact that it remained unchanged.

We managed to take our daughters there on one of our trips back to Montreal.

I loved the Art Deco corner front entrance, it was very unique and I hate that the people who bought the building didn't even attempt to preserve it by integrating it into the new building's architecture. It would have been very neat.

Good for McCord museum though for acquiring Ben's artifacts!