Sweet Spot With Mike Sugerman: Katz's Deli Keeps Customers Coming Back For More 30 Years After 'When Harry Met Sally'

July 19, 2019 - 5:00 am

NEW YORK (WCBS 880) — It’s as iconic a New York restaurant as they come.

One patron says, “You haven’t lived in New York City until you’ve come to Katz’s to truly understand it.”

For pastrami you don’t have to fake liking, Katz’s Deli has been open for 131 years. Fifth generation owner Jake Dell says “we’re the oldest deli in New York and in the world.” As for his love of his family’s business, he says “I’ve got pastrami in my veins. I go to sleep and I sweat out pastrami every night.”

Jeff Rumpf is carrying on a family tradition, taking his son for his first Katz pastrami sandwich.

"My father took me here and now he knows how to eat a pastrami sandwich and he knows its orgasmic value," Rumpf said.

As popular as it is today, the deli was iconic 30 years ago, when the infamous movie “When Harry Met Sally” shot a truly memorable scene here. 

Fourth generation owner Alan Dell remembers the filming. “The one thing that was surprising to me was how many times they filmed that one scene,” Dell said. According to him, it took 14 hours to film the three minute scene. 

“Rob Reiner was giving directions to her (Meg Ryan),” Dell said. “It was just kind of funny. ‘No, do it like this.’”

So on this 30th anniversary of the release of the movie, Katz’s held a contest for fans to recreate the movie scene. 

Charlotte Keeney was on her way to run with the bulls in Spain when she decided to stop at the deli for the competition during a layover.  

Contestant Georgie Culley loves the movie so much that she flew in from London to participate.

Whether or not patrons participated to do their best Meg Ryan impression, one thing’s for certain-- the pastrami at Katz’s is worth moaning for.