BENJIES HAS BEEN operating as a two-generation family owned New York style deli originated by Stan Weinstein in 1967 and is still operated today by Stan’s son and daughter-in-law, Lloyd & Noriko Weinstein. The Weinstein’s strive to maintain the family-oriented-style, quality restaurant created by Stan, while keeping up with modern trends in dining. Benjies offers the truly New York style deli experience in Orange County, California—large portions, fresh products and an extensive array of menu items—mouth-watering corned beef on rye, and soul-warming Matzo Ball soup to absolutely fabulous desserts.
In addition to the New York style deli, Benjies features a newly remodeled bar, Avenue K, namesake of the family’s Brooklyn residence 70 years ago. In contrast to the ‘60s diner style restaurant, Avenue K Bar has a modern stylish atmosphere and features a broad selection of ice cold craft beers and specialty cocktails. Also available in Avenue K is Benjies’ full menu along with a great Happy Hour appetizer and cocktail Menu served from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. The restaurant also offers catering services for all occasions and is widely recognized for its outstanding presentations and quality foods.
Restaurant founder, Stan Weinstein was born in Brooklyn New York in August of 1921. He was raised with his younger sister, Isabel, during the Depression Era in a brownstone apartment on Avenue K in Brooklyn. He graduated Boys’ High and went on to college as a pre-med student. His education was interrupted by World War II, were he proudly served in the army as a radio and communications specialist in India. While serving in the military, he met the love of his life Eleanor Finegold and they were married in 1946.
With his new responsibilities of marriage and a new baby, Weinstein wasn’t able to continue with his education—instead he worked in the “needles trade” as a cloth cutter in a clothing manufacturing plant, owned by his wife’s family. Stan decided to pursue a better life for his family and moved to Los Angeles in the early 1950s where he continued to work for relatives in the garment industry.
Weinstein’s dream was to open his own business and in the 1950s purchased Richies Drive In Restaurant in Garden Grove, CA complete with roller skating carhops! Stan quickly outgrew Richies and it was decided that the building would be torn down and a new full-service family dining restaurant would be built on the site. Cookies Family Restaurant was built and flourished, but Stan’s dream of owning a New York delicatessen had not been fulfilled.
In 1967, along with two partners, Stan purchased Squires Coffee Shop on Tustin Avenue in Santa Ana. The restaurant was remodeled and opened as Benjies on October 8, 1967 where it exists today—and the rest is history.
Benjies is the only NY style deli in Orange County and is considered by its patrons to be an authentic deli experience because it remains a ‘60s diner atmosphere, which they enjoy as an alternative to the corporate style restaurant. Of note, most of the staff has been with the restaurant for more than 15 years and some for 30+ or more. In October, Benjies will celebrate a coveted milestone of 50 years of continuous, enthusiastic service to southern California diners.
Benjies N.Y. Deli and Restaurant & Avenue K Bar is the recipient of two 2007 awards from the Southern California Restaurant Writers; Best American Restaurant and a Distinguished Restaurant Award. The restaurant has also been a finalist many times and placed first in 2016 in the OC Register’s “Best of OC” Best Deli category along with being honored by the California State Assembly, 72nd District for continued dedication to the betterment of their community.
Benjies is located at 1828 N. Tustin Ave., Santa Ana, CA (just north of Seventeenth Street). Benjies is open seven days a week. Monday to Thursday
8 a.m. until 9 p.m., Friday
8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Saturday
7 a.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday 7 a.m. to 9 p.m.. Reservations are encouraged for parties of six or more; please call
Take out food is available and the restaurant caters for all occasions. www.benjiesdeli.com.