NEWARK, NJ - A fire Monday afternoon at Hobby’s Delicatessen partially destroyed the business’ iconic storefront sign, but one of the owners was just thankful no one was hurt.
“No one got hurt, so it’s not that serious,” said Marc Brummer as he sat down on a chair outside of the charred facade of the deli at 32 Branford Place. “So this can all be fixed.”
The business has been in the Brummer family for almost 60 years, but it's been in existence for more than 100. The old-fashioned Jewish deli is known for its corned beef that is pickled in 50-gallon steel vats.
The restaurant and deli was the backdrop for the filming of "The Sopranos" prequel, which is set during the 1967 Newark riots. Brummer, who runs the deli with his brother, said filmmakers chose that spot of Newark to film because the deli's sign looked so vintage.
“This sign has been here at a minimum since the 1950s,” Brummer said.
The deli stayed open even after the dust of the 1967 riots settled, but it has also withstood other hurdles. A fire in 1992 that occurred in the overnight hours caused the eatery to close for a long time. The deli reopened with a new interior, Brummer said.
The fire this afternoon “appeared” to be electrical, Brummer said. Most of the damage was over the dining and bar area.
Brummer also praised the work of the Newark Fire Division, which he said responded within minutes after it was called around 2 p.m.
“We hope to be up and running as soon as we can,” he added. “I don’t have a definite timeline.”