STUDIO CITY : Deli May Reopen by End of Summer

Art's Deli, a popular restaurant on Ventura Boulevard that was ravaged by the earthquake and a related fire, will reopen in late August or early September, said part-owner Harold Ginsburg.

Ginsburg, whose parents, Art and Sandy, founded the deli in 1957, said Wednesday that he expects demolition of the damaged building to begin April 25 and construction of the new structure to begin shortly thereafter. The project has not yet received the green light from the Los Angeles city health or building departments, but Ginsburg said he is hopeful of securing the necessary approvals.

"I think the city really wants to get places back in business," Ginsburg said. "With the economy being as bad as it was, they're really making an effort to do that."

Ginsburg said the past few months have been an emotionally difficult time for him and his family in their struggle to rebuild. But he said they have been heartened by a deluge of phone calls from well-wishing customers. The owners are considering applying for a Small Business Administration loan and have received an extension of the application deadline, said Ginsburg, who manages the eatery with his sister, Roberta Mitteldorf.

The deli's insurers have forwarded partial payment to the business to pay for some demolition work, architectural services and temporary office space, Ginsburg said.

The delicatessen, which Ginsburg said suffered $500,000 to $700,000 in damage from the earthquake and resulting fire, will have a new look when it reopens. Incandescent drop lights will replace the old fluorescent lighting, ceilings will be raised, and the color scheme will be changed to reflect the decor, which Ginsburg described as a "traditional '50s deli theme geared to the year 2000."

"It'll look sharp," he promised.

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