Red Hook Deli Faces The Real World

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One Red Hook deli had been in the right place at the right time. Twice. When the Ikea went up around F & M Bagel, the deli reaped the extra business from construction crews for months. The Ikea opened and put in it's own cafeteria and that business dried up. But as luck would have it, another wave of new customers came owner Eugene Orefice's way: the cast and crew of "The Real World" moved into the neighborhood and business shot back up, Orefice told the Observer.

As a concession to its new customers (and the changing neighborhood) the deli added wraps and salads to its hearty menu — the Philly cheese steak is a favorite. But now the show has wrapped and the crew skipped town, taking the cast with it. And the gruff counterman is wistful about the loss of his transgendered, Morman, meathead, beauty-queen, cat-fighting, attention-starved customers — well, sort of. "Yeah I miss them," he says. "I mean I'd miss any customer who spent $300 or $400 if they left,"

Well, maybe Red Hook's loss is Manhattan's gain. Perhaps a rumored spin off can save Stuy Town from itself.

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