You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

Hollywood Power Players Assemble to Save Iconic Deli Nate ‘n Al

A group of Hollywood executives and celebrities have banded together with the intent to save Beverly Hills deli and star haunt Nate ‘n Al, a stone’s throw from tourist destination Rodeo Drive.

A consortium of investors including music kingpin Irving Azoff and wife Shelli, Universal Filmed Entertainment Group chairman Jeff Shell, and Rande Gerber and Cindy Crawford are among those ponying up to keep the restaurant alive, two individuals familiar with the transaction told Variety.

The group is close to securing a new home one block over for the Beverly Drive showbiz institution, in the space occupied by Wolfgang’s Steakhouse at 443 N. Canon Drive, the sources said. The deal is expected to close in April.

A rep for Azoff declined to comment. Reps for the Gerbers and Shell did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

The deli’s operators, Mark and David Mendelson who are grandsons of one of the eponymous founders, signaled they were looking to sell the building that the deli occupies last February. The men reportedly sought to sell the entire space to the Azoffs, who in turn brokered a deal to take the business instead.

News of Nate and Al’s potential demise disheartened many in the industry, with devoted customers like Larry King making public pleas for an investor to save it.

Nate Rimer and Al Mendelson met in Detroit, and shipped off to Los Angeles to open the deli’s doors in 1945. News of the new investment group was first reported by The Hollywood Reporter.

Read the Nate n’ Al story:

Nate ‘n Al opened its doors in 1945, but the idea truly began more than 20 years earlier. Al Mendelson had moved from his native Russia to Toronto and eventually Detroit. It was there in a famous Motor City deli that he met his partner, Nate Rimer, and the idea of opening their very own deli was born. The two men set their sights on Southern California. Sunshine, movie stars and a bright future awaited them.

Once they arrived, Nate and Al opened the Beverly Hills location that held a mere 30 customers. Yet, despite its humble size, the deli began to grow big in name. Silver screen starlets. Directors. Producers and writers. They all began to make Nate ‘n Al a Hollywood hangout.

It was during this boom that Al expanded the restaurant to its present size. And while Nate would eventually leave the business, Al was surrounded by a strong family including his wife Terry, sons Barry and Sandy, and grandsons Mark and David who still operate Nate ‘n Al today. This dedication and strength of family has brought more notoriety but, most importantly, ensured the best tasting and most well prepared food for its customers.

More Scene

  • The CalArts REDCAT Gala 2019 Honoring

    Pixar's Pete Docter Honored at CalArts REDCAT Gala

    Pixar’s Pete Docter reminisced about his days as a student at CalArts on Saturday night at the 2019 CalArts REDCAT Gala, where he received the Distinguished Alumni Award. For the wide-eyed boy from Minnesota, where life was more routine, attending CalArts “was a free-for-all. It was eye-opening in a lot of ways,” he recalled. “But [...]

  • Sasha Pieterse, Eli Brown, Sydney Park

    'Pretty Little Liars' Spinoff Unexpectedly Coincides With College Admissions Scandal

    It was a case of art imitating life at Saturday night’s Hollywood premiere of “The Perfectionists” — Freeform’s “Pretty Little Liars” spinoff about a scandal involving college students striving for excellence by any means necessary. The TV show’s debut was coincidently preceded by a real-life college scandal involving Hollywood celebrities who allegedly didn’t let a [...]

  • Keira Knightley'The Aftermath' film screening, Arrivals,

    Keira Knightley Talks 'Aftermath,' Alexander Skarsgård and Another Itchy Wardrobe

    The reigning queen of period pieces, Keira Knightley, knows a thing or two about historical clothing. “Lining. Lining is always important,” the Oscar-nominated actress playfully advised on Wednesday at the premiere of her post-WWII drama “Aftermath.” “If you get a lot of itchy stuff always put lining in it. I have learned that from having [...]

  • Priyanka Chopra

    Priyanka Chopra to Speak at the 2019 Women in the World Summit (EXCLUSIVE)

    Priyanka Chopra has just been added to the star-studded list of speakers at the 2019 Women in the World Summit. Chopra, who will be interviewed on stage by Women in the World founder Tina Brown, will discuss her career as an activist and entrepreneur. Recently, the “Baywatch” actress joined forces with Serena Williams in investing [...]

  • Jessica Chastain arrives at the 2019

    Jessica Chastain on Continuing to 'Balance the Scales' for Gender Parity in Hollywood

    Jessica Chastain‘s work for gender parity in Hollywood isn’t slowing down soon. “I have noticed, of course, now that it’s in fashion there are other people that are jumping on board, and honestly, I don’t care what their motives are,” Chastain tells Variety. “Because at the end of the day, the more we focus on [...]

  • 10 Latinxs to Watch

    Variety's 10 Latinxs to Watch Brunch Celebrates Diversity in the Community

    Saturday afternoon brought rising Latinx filmmakers and actors together at Variety’s 10 Latinxs to Watch brunch held in partnership with the 36th annual Miami Film Festival. The festive celebration, which took place at the JW Marquis Marriott’s Boulud Sud restaurant, featured a panel discussion moderated by Variety’s Malina Saval with the following five select individuals [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content