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After 27 years, Luba's Place owner serves last sandwich

Luba's Place has gone dark after 27 years, for the one of the best reasons anyone can have for closing their business.

"I am 70 years old, and I think that's enough," said Luba Levin, who ran the sandwich counter inside 135 Delaware Ave. "And I have now three grandchildren who have moved recently back to Buffalo, so I have three babies I will spend time with more."

She served her last customer June 15.

Levin has worked feeding Buffalonians for more than half her life. After emigrating from Russia, she worked at Mastman's Deli on Hertel Avenue for 10 years, she said. Then a friend who had the counter inside 135 Delaware Ave. decided to depart, and recruited her.

That was 1990. Since then she has risen at 5:30 a.m. on workdays to get ready for the work of feeding her customers, who are mostly lawyers. The federal courthouse is across the street.

Her menu topped out at $3.59, for the egg and toast with ham and cheese. It was not possible to get a fresher egg salad sandwich in the city, as Levin did not crack the eggs until the sandwich was ordered.

A young couple from India is taking over the sandwich counter, she said. They will keep some of the menu, she said, but probably add some of their traditional dishes.

She will miss her customers, she said. "After 27 years, you become a family," she said. "That's what it is. And after 27, years, this place is my baby."

(Hat tip: Howard Goldman)

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