Wednesday 7 November 2012

Shameful treatment of Schwartz's Deli: innocent in new "MK" controversy

Shame on all of the people who took to Facebook castigating the famous Schwartz's Deli on St. Laurent Boulevard without getting all of the  facts. A printing error in the debut Montreal edition of the Jewish Pages put the smoked meat palace into full damage control.

Schwartz’s  first opened in 1928, launched by a Jewish immigrant from Romania named  Reuben Schwartz. Located on trendy St. Laurent Boulevard, affectionately known as the Main, it was sold last spring by chartered accountant Hy Diamond  in a multi-million dollar deal to a consortium headed by singer Céline Dion, her husband René Angelil and the Nakis family. Lineups typically snake up the block just to get a seat inside.

Co-owner Anastasia K. Nakis  told me that the past week has been extremely trying for her partnership. The Jewish pages printed an advertisement and according to officials there mistakenly added the MK symbol, lending the impression that the restaurant serves kosher food.  This ad was reproduced on Facebook and an onslaught of criticism began against Schwartz’s.  The Jewish Community Council even got involved, with executive director Rabbi Saul Emmanuel confirming to the Jewish Tribune that legal action was to be taken.

An official from The Jewish Pages will tell me more tomorrow, but the publication is taking full responsibility for the mistake. 

Nakis said that all she did was send the magazine her logo ” and they made the ad.  "They added the MK and kosher and I told them to remove it because we were not kosher," she said.  "Their original wrong ad went to print instead of the amended version.  This spiralled as someone took the ad and made a poster of it without me or my partners permission and sent  it  out to the Jewish community.  To tell you the truth, the way my staff and my partners and I have been mistreated and insulted by something that we had absolutely no control over is really upsetting.  My 18 year old cashier got berated by an irate woman the other day while she was minding the cash - just screaming at her on the phone.  It's out of control."

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