In the News…admin0 | September 30, 2009
No time to waste for sibling deli owners as they rush to fill orders after end of Yom Kippur
Tuesday, September 29th 2009, 4:00 AM
Take that, Zabar’s!
For two brothers from Hong Kong, the end of Yom Kippur marked the finish of their busiest week of the year.
And it means they can finally start answering the phone again.
Danny and Kenny Sze, who learned to smoke salmon as low-level fish filleters at Zabar’s in the 1970s, opened a deli, Sable’s, on the upper East Side – which gives Zabar’s a run for its money.
“There’s no time,” said Danny Sze, who couldn’t pick up the phone yesterday as he rushed to fill hundreds of orders in time for the end-of-fast dinner.
The line of people, many coming straight from temple, was out the door at the cramped deli on Second Ave.
The brothers’ attached cafe became a makeshift assembly line and pickup window for orders placed as far back as July.
“It’s the best,” said Ed Greenberg, a customer of 15 years. Greenberg, 58, came from Temple Emanu-El with his wife, Janet, to pick up smoked salmon, sable and whitefish salad for last night’s meal.
“It’s as good as Zabar’s and you don’t have to wait two hours,” he said.
Danny, 50, and Kenny, 52, spoke no English when they emigrated from Hong Kong in 1972. They worked their way up, first at Bagel Nosh, the old New York bagel chain, and then at the Zabar’s smoked fish counter.
Danny, who left Zabar’s to deliver papers for the Daily News, was out of work during the newspaper strike of 1990 when he saw an open storefront on Second Ave. near 77th St.
“It was a gamble like anything else,” he said of opening Sable’s. “Thank God it worked out.”
Kenny switched allegiance from Zabar’s, and another brother, Henry, also came on board. Word of mouth quickly spread and even Ed Koch became a regular.
Now Danny Sze uses Yiddish phrases freely after years of serving the upper East Side’s Jewish community.
“[Danny] answers the phone with ‘Good yontif,'” Greenberg said.
Danny “knows what his clientele is,” he said.