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September 21, 2012 10:21 am

Vandals Trash Upper West Side Deli, Scrawl Anti-Semitic Graffiti on Walls, “Urinate Everywhere”

avatar by Algemeiner Staff

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Lansky's in Manhattan. Photo: Trip Advisor.

Lansky’s Old World Deli on Manhattan’s Upper West Side will reopen on Saturday morning after thieves broke into the restaurant earlier this week,vandalized the inside and wrote anti-Semitic slurs on the walls.

“We’ll be open tomorrow morning,” an employee told The Algemeiner, adding that the deli is still in the process of cleaning up the mess.

“We’re fixing things up now,” she said.

David Ruggerio, the delis owner, said the extent of the damage inside was severe.

“They smashed all the computers, smashed phones, broke every plate in the place, sliced every banquette,” he told The New York Post.  “It was like someone came in and went wilding. Vandalism is one thing, but it was a total defacement. They urinated everywhere.”

Ruggerio, who isn’t Jewish himself, says he covered up the anti-Semitic words and symbols in order to keep the situation from becoming “inflamed”.

“I’m an Italian-American from Brooklyn, but if I was Jewish, I’d be deeply offended,” he told The Post.

Ruggiero himself has a checkered past in the restaurant industry, having published two well read cookbooks, “David Ruggerio’s Italian Kitchen” and “Little Italy,” while also having plead guilty to adding $100,000 in false tips to customer’s credit cards in 1999.

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  • RoshGadol

    Self inflicted damage?

    David Ruggerio, a prominent chef who rose to fame nearly two decades ago but fell from grace when he pleaded guilty to credit card fraud, is seeking bankruptcy protection now.

    Last Friday he filed for Chapter 11 for two Upper West Side restaurants he owns, Bomboloni, an Italian pastry café, and Jalapeno, a Mexican eatery. The two spots are adjacent at 187 and 185 Columbus Ave., respectively, and opened last year.

    In September, another business he co-owns, Sushi a Go-Go, located across from Lincoln Center, was seized by the state for failing to pay taxes. He also co-owns Lansky’s Old World Deli on Columbus Avenue north of Jalapeno and Bomboloni.

    Mr. Ruggerio co-owns Jalapeno and Bomboloni with the same group of five investors, though he is a majority owner only in Jalapeno. The bankruptcy filings each list assets and debts of less than $500,000.

    Neither the chef nor his lawyer, Jonathan Pasternack, returned calls for comment.

    In 1999, Mr. Ruggerio pleaded guilty to attempted grand larceny. He tried to steal more than $140,000 by inflating the tips on customers’ credit cards at Le Chantilly, a midtown eatery he owned on East 57th Street.

    He avoided prison by performing 500 hours of community service, according to news reports.

    A former boxer from Brooklyn, Mr. Ruggerio even had his own Food Network cooking show, which was canceled after his arrest.

    He got his big break at La Caravelle in the mid-1980s when he assumed the position of executive chef after Michael Romano left to open Danny Meyer’s Union Square Café.

    Mr. Ruggerio had been the sous chef under Mr. Romano. But he stayed only a short time, recalled Rita Jammet, co-owner of La Caravelle, which was considered one of the city’s Grand Dame restaurants before it closed in 2004. “He didn’t even write his own menu,” she said. “He had a lot of energy,” added Ms. Jammet.

  • RoshGadol

    One would think that any business would have multiple security cameras running at all times, motion detectors, etc.

  • RoshGadol

    Given his remarks and background, I wouldn’t be surprised if this turns out to be less about antisemitism that mob payback for something he did or didn’t do.

  • rashid Zaidi

    This sort of behavior is unwarranted, are we getting more like what we have help create the world over. Chaos in the name of democracy, it has not worked except in a few places in the past 65 years. Ignorance and resentment seems to rule us today.

  • Pem

    agreed. that was an unfortunate remark, probably trying to distance himself

  • Jimmy Zimmerman

    “I’m an Italian-American from Brooklyn, but if I was Jewish, I’d be deeply offended,”

    Um I happen to be Jewish but what does that have to do with anything about being offended? I’m offended every time I see violent bigotry regardless of target. Never understood that sentiment…

    • MizzLizz

      I’m with you, Jimmy. I don’t understand a person who would make a dumb comment like that.

    • After his stupid reply about if he were Jewish he would be offended. What a jerk. I’ll never eat there again

      • The owner is areal jerk. I will not eat there again