A Gravesend street corner now honors the life and legacy of the late founder of Lou’s Deli, Lou Jerome.
The intersection of East 2nd Street and Kings Highway was officially co-named Lou’s Deli Way during a Sunday, Nov. 13 ceremony paying tribute to the cherished deli and its founder. The sign’s unveiling was attended by a bevy of Jerome’s friends, family, former colleagues and local elected officials — all of whom remembered the Brooklyn business owner for his big dreams and even bigger heart.
Jerome was born above a local butcher’s shop in 1925 and served voluntarily in the United States Navy during World War II after getting special permission to enlist when he was only 16 years old. Following the war, he established his deli on Kings Highway, which soon became an essential and beloved small business which served its community for nearly 50 years.
“Everybody knew and loved Lou’s Deli,” Councilmember Ari Kagan told Brooklyn Paper Monday. “It was a prime community establishment and people love the store, which is especially popular on Sunday nights.”
Lou’s Deli historically served Kosher food and was popular with both Jewish and non-Jewish patrons. The business was closed on Saturdays in observance of Shabbat, but on Sunday nights became a hub for the neighborhood, with people coming in droves to eat.
Jerome, who died earlier this year, was known also for his exceptional generosity and oftentimes helped neighbors and family members financially, adding to his service to his country and community.
Part of the first generation of the Jewish Syrian Sephardic Community of Brooklyn, Jerome, with the establishment of his business, helped build community in the area.
“I believe he was an American hero,” added Kagan. “He was a brave person and [his business] served the community for nearly 50 years. That is very significant.”
Nearly 100 people showed up Sunday to pay their respects, according to Kagan.
“This shows you that he was popular and the store was very popular,” he said.