The sale of Nate’n Al, a Beverly Hills fixture for nearly 75 years, to long-time customers Shelli and Irving Azoff has been completed, the previous owners of the delicatessen confirmed Friday.
The 71-year-old entertainment industry executive and his wife plan to keep Nate’n Al in Beverly Hills, and retain the deli’s staff and recipes, according to sellers Mark and David Mendelson, the grandsons of one of the restaurant’s two founders.
According to January reports in The Hollywood Reporter and Variety, the Mendelsons also tried to sell the Beverly Drive building that houses the eatery to the Azoffs, but the couple plan to relocate Nate’N Al to a nearby location.
“As a cornerstone of Beverly Hills, it has been with great pleasure and pride that we have been a part of your family’s meals, holidays, celebrations and businesses for four generations. We thank our wonderful customers — your loyalty to Nate’n Al has been a great joy,” Mark Mendelson said in a prepared statement.
“Over the years, many potential buyers have expressed interest in us,” he said. “Finding the right owners that value our staff, some whom have been with us for 30-42 years, as much as our brand was paramount and essential. The Azoffs have been loyal customers for over 30 years and have a love and passion for Nate’n Al and our food. My brother David and I are proud to have them carry on our grandparents’ legacy of excellent service, serving only the finest delicatessen food.”
The brothers, who did not reveal the terms of the sale, said they will help with the ownership transition, and advise on the business’ operation.
Nate’N Al has long been frequented by Hollywood executives and personalities, including Larry King, who used to eat breakfast there nearly every morning. The late Gregory Peck told City News Service in the late 1980s that he would pull up to the rear of the restaurant every weekend to pick up a takeout order.