Ben’s owner: Popular deli chain ‘struggling to remain in business’

Rose Weldon
Ronnie Dragoon, the owner of Ben's Kosher Deli, serves up food in one of his locations. In a letter included in an advertisement last week, Dragoon said his restaurants were "struggling to remain in business." (Photo via Instagram, courtesy of Ben's Kosher Deli)

The owner of a popular delicatessen chain has run an advertisement stating that his restaurants are “struggling to remain in business” due to the coronavirus pandemic and asking for support.

Ronald “Ronnie” Dragoon, the CEO and founder of Ben’s Kosher Deli Restaurant and Caterers, wrote the sentiment in a letter as part of an advertisement for the company in Newsday last week.

“My heart goes out to everyone during these unprecedented times, especially those who have suffered devastating family losses, health issues or financial challenges,” Dragoon wrote. “Ben’s is no exception. Like most restaurants, we are struggling to remain in business.”

Dragoon continued that any purchase would “make a difference in saving one of New York’s remaining kosher delis.”

“To ensure that Ben’s will still be here when the worst of these times are over, we need your help,” Dragoon wrote. “Please add takeout from Ben’s to your weekly meals, visit us for indoor or outdoor dining, or take advantage of our delivery and takeout deli service.”

First opened in a since-closed location in Baldwin Harbor in 1972 and named after Dragoon’s father, Ben’s now has two locations on the North Shore or in its surrounding areas, one in Wheatley Plaza in Greenvale and another in Country Glen Center in Carle Place.

Other restaurants in the chain are located in Woodbury; Bayside, Queens; Manhattan; Scarsdale, Westchester County; and Boca Raton, Florida. The Bayside location is open for takeout and outdoor dining, while the Manhattan location is open only for takeout.

Dragoon, 71, had announced his retirement in February, but subsequently, put off the plans once the pandemic hit. The owner then closed his letter by reflecting that he had seen three generations of New Yorkers since the restaurant’s founding 48 years ago.

“Ben’s needs your support now,” Dragoon wrote. “Thank you for your time and future consideration.”

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