The Lower East Side and East Village aren't what they used to be, with old buildings razed, hotels and condos built in their place, and beloved clubs and places to eat (like Rosario's and Bereket) gone from the neighborhood. The corner of Ludlow and Houston would be barely recognizable without The Mercury Lounge, Katz's Deli and, across the street, the Punjabi Grocery and Deli.

Having fed cabbies, bar-hoppers and show-goers 24 hours a day, seven days a week with its great, inexpensive vegetarian food for nearly three decades, Punjabi Deli reopened in July after four months being closed during lockdown. But with nightlife mostly nonexistent and cab traffic way down as well, the E. 1st Street spot has been struggling since. However, after Gothamist ran a post on Friday checking in with spot, which was opened in 1993 by Kulwinder Singh, a GoFundMe was launched over the weekend to help the tiny space stay afloat, with a goal of raising $50,000. Just two days into the campaign, they've already hit $40k.

In an instagram Punjabi Deli posted last night, they wrote, "the response has been incredible and there’s been a tangible uptick in business this weekend. thank you all."

You can still donate to Punjabi Deli's GoFundMe, and by all means go by and get some food. We're very glad to hear things are looking up a little.

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