Tag: canter’s


by on Jan.12, 2010, under Los Angeles

The Los Angeles Times features waiters who work at Los Angeles’s two notable south-of-Mulholland delis: Langer’s and Canter’s. Canter’s is the Hollywood deli, set in a neighborhood full of young writers and actors, up all night, and host to The Kibitz Room (where Boots recently brought Edmund Welles). Langer’s, The Restaurant Saved By The Red Line, sits in “transitional” MacArthur Park, an easy lunch destination for downtown office workers who can ride the subway or get curbside to-go using their cell phones.

And Langer’s — as the Times notes 20 grafs in — is union.

Eva Francois began serving at Canter’s 17 years ago. The nighttime shift allowed her to spend days with her young son, but once he grew older, she was able to work days. A co-worker who served at both delis suggested lunch shifts at Langer’s, an extra job she has been working the last eight years. Like many dual-deli waiters, Francois takes the health benefits at Langer’s — a union shop.

Good on them for spelling out the difference. What the article neglects to mention–though the story’s in the archives–is that a little less than twenty years ago, Canter’s was union too. As I understand it, the original owners passed management to their children, who overturned a longtime arrangement with labor. A decertification campaign bitterly divided the staff. The former bass player in my band was a union organizer who worked closely with one of the shop stewards who manned that picket line (at a different job, years later). So we were not about to play The Kibitz Room.

Also, Langer’s is widely thought to make the best pastrami in the United States. Any meat-eating New Yorkers wanna come try it?

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