Goodbye, Carter & Cooley (to 19th Street, anyway!)

It was a sad day in the Heights last weekend, as residents said goodbye to longtime 19th Street institution, Carter & Cooley Delicatessen. After 30 years in business, the beloved sandwich shop closed its doors for the last time on August 31. The new owners have, however, announced that their doors will be opening once again in a different location, and are encouraging people to follow them online for the latest updates.

Carter & Cooley was named for Heights founders Martin Carter and Daniel Cooley, and it’s been a landmark on 19th Street since long before the Heights was considered a trendy place to live.

Restaurant owner Neil Sackheim compared the last few days of goodbyes with regular customers as similar to “attending my own wake.” Rumors that Carter & Cooley’s days were numbered have been circulating since October, when Sackheim sold the historic building that houses the deli to a developer and other tenants began moving out.

We will miss the charm and reliably delicious food at Carter & Cooley Delicatessen.
Photo credit: Carter & Cooley official website.

While change is never easy, Carter & Cooley might make a resurgence eventually. Sackheim sold ownership rights to his two managers, Charles Salas and Zena Cortez. The pair will have the restaurant’s name, recipes, and considerable collection of Heights memorabilia that decorates the current Carter & Cooley digs. They hope to reopen in a new location within the Heights in the future, preferably in another historic building that can attempt to recapture the magic of the original location.

We’re sad to see Carter & Cooley go, and the deli leaves big shoes to fill in our lunch rotation. But we couldn’t be happier for Neil Sackheim as he embarks on his next big adventure: retirement! He and husband Stephen Voss will be traveling and enjoying their newfound leisure time, and (fingers crossed) Heights residents will soon have a new address to visit for their Carter & Cooley fix.

Bon voyage, Neil, and thanks for all the many, many delicious sandwiches we’ve all devoured over the years.