Carnegie Deli will close at end of 2016

The Carnegie Deli, a New York institution since 1937, will soon serve its last “Woody Allen.”

The iconic home to gigantic Jewish-style sandwiches — like the 4-inch-high, pastrami-and-corned beef “Woody” on rye — will close its doors forever on Dec. 31, The Post has learned.

Restaurant owner Marian Harper Levine tearfully broke the news to 60 heartbroken employees on Friday morning.

Levine, 65, said, “At this stage of my life, the early mornings to late nights have taken a toll, along with my sleepless nights and grueling hours that come with operating a restaurant business.”

“I’m very sad to close the Carnegie Deli but I’ve reached the time of my life when I need to take a step back,” Levine said. Her family has owned the Carnegie since 1976.

The news will sadden New Yorkers who loved Carnegie Deli’s belt-popping sandwiches and kitschy confines, which boast hundreds of photos of mostly forgotten celebrities — and nostalgia to spare.

In a New York Post essay in December 2015, when the place was temporarily closed following a gas leak, Ted Merwin, author of “Pastrami on Rye: An Overstuffed History of the Jewish Deli,” wrote:

“Since 1937, the Carnegie’s skyscraper sandwiches and obnoxious waiters encapsulated the very ethos of excess that characterized New York as a whole.”

Merwin said it would be “tragic” for the city if the Carnegie didn’t reopen.

Unlike at some other famous restaurants that recently closed, Levine had no landlord to blame — she owns the six-story building at 854 Seventh Ave. between West 54th and 55th streets.

But the Carnegie, and Marian, were long under strain.

The dining room shrank when Levine lost her lease on annex space in a building next door a few years ago.

She went through a bitter divorce from ex-husband “Sandy” Levine, who carried on a long-term affair with a former waitress and allegedly stole Carnegie’s pastrami and cheesecake recipes. The recipes were allegedly then used in the girlfriend’s family’s restaurant in Bangkok, Thailand.

Two years ago, the restaurant was ordered by a federal court to fork over $2.6 million in back wages to employees who were cheated out of proper pay — which Marian blamed on her ex-husband, whom she accused of embezzlement.

Then, in April 2015, the city shut the Carnegie Deli down for nine months over an illegal gas hookup — which Marian also blamed on Sandy.

The divorce was settled out of court. Terms were not revealed.

Carnegie Deli reopened last February with sidewalk hawkers dressed as pickles. It drew lines around the block and Mayor Bill de Blasio tweeted a celebratory photo of a pastrami sandwich.

But now the matzo ball soup’s run dry.

Levine will continue to license Carnegie Deli outposts in Las Vegas and Bethlehem, Pa., as well as at some sports venues.

“Moving forward, Marian Harper hopes to keep her father’s legacy alive by focusing on licensing the iconic Carnegie Deli brand and selling their world-famous products for wholesale distribution,” said her spokesperson, Cristyne Nicholas.

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