In 1972, Ronnie Dragoon put down $6,500 to open up his first Ben's Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant in Baldwin. Forty years and millions of customers later, Ben's Deli has expanded with three restaurants on Long Island, one in Queens, one in Manhattan and another in Boca Raton, Florida.
In continuance of its 40th anniversary celebration, Ben's Delicatessen Restaurant & Caterers will be holding a reunion of those who worked or ate at the original Baldwin location. The reunion will be held February 28 from 6-8 p.m. at 140 Wheatley Plaza in Greenvale.
Customers will have a choice of hot corned beef, hot pastrami, roasted turkey, roast beef or beef tongue sandwiches, expertly sliced to order and served with a variety of side dishes such as cole slaw, potato salad, Israeli salad, pickles, mini potato pancakes with applesauce, franks in jackets, knishes, and bottomless fountain beverages. Dessert will consist of Ben's Home Baked Rugulach, coffee and tea. There will also be prize giveaways and a trivia contest for those who wish to test their knowledge on the history of Ben's - from its original location to its menu items.
Ben's was founded by Ronnie Dragoon. After graduating from Brooklyn College with a degree in Political Science and completing his tour as a Vista Volunteer in Indiana, Mr. Dragoon moved back to New York in 1972 and opened Ben's Kosher Delicatessen Restaurant, which he named after his father. His humble upbringing instilled in him a desire to please others and, since then, he has incorporated that trait into his business philosophy.
"It will be good to see those who started with us 40 years ago," Mr. Dragoon said. "Because of our dedicated employees and our loyal customers, Ben's has become an institution among kosher restaurants as we have expanded our customer base from New York to Florida. We wish to invite everyone to celebrate this special occasion with us as we serve up some great food and some great stories."
The cost is $19.72 per person (plus tax and 18% gratuity). Reservations are required. To make a reservation, please call (516) 621-3340. For more information, visit www.bensdeli.net.