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Astoria’s ‘Sandwich King’ Has Died, Family Receives an Outpouring of Support

Photo: Facebook

Nov. 12, 2019 By Christian Murray

Astoria’s Sandwich King Charlie Gordon, who established Sal, Kris & Charlie’s Deli in Astoria, died Friday. He was 60.

Gordon bought the 33-12 23rd Ave. deli in 1987 and named it after Sal, who already worked at the deli, his wife Kris and himself, according to an article published last year in the New York Times. Soon after he took over the store his customers began calling him “The Sandwich King of Astoria.”

The family announced on Facebook Saturday the passing of Gordon. Gordon has adult children who work at the store.

“It’s with deepest sympathy that we inform you of the passing of our Sandwich King Charlie Gordon,” the post read. The family noted that the store would be closed through Thursday.

More than 150 people have posted comments sending their condolences to the family, with many providing feedback as to the way they were treated by the king.

“So sorry for your loss. Charlie treated me and my children as family. Always knew their name. Always treated us with 100% respect,” wrote one customer.

“Long Live the King. So sorry for the loss. Astoria has lost a piece of her heart,” another resident wrote.

The outpouring of support continued.

“Omg I am devastated by this news I remember the first day I met him when he first took over the deli all those years ago,” another resident wrote. “He was the best great person [sic] I and my family will miss him greatly. My condolences to his family god bless you all.”

The deli is known for offering hearty sandwiches, offering 14-inch-long heroes stuffed with meat and fillings.

The most popular sandwich, according to the New York Times piece, is the Bomb, which comes with a mix of Italian and American cold cuts topped with American and Provolone cheese and other toppings.

The funeral service is scheduled for Thursday at St. Catherine and St. George’s Church, located at 22-30 33rd St. at 11:30 a.m. He will be buried at St. Michael’s Cemetery in East Elmhurst.

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52 Comments

John

I have been privileged to have Charlie as my brother-n-law. We are devastated with his
unexpected passing and words simply cannot express the deep heartache we all feel.

His kindness and genuine
hospitality to his
family, friends and community are truly unmatched. Charlie always put everyone else ahead of himself and truly epitomized the “Spirit of Giving”!

The outpouring of love and
support shown at his Wake and Funeral are greatly appreciated and indicative of the many
people he impacted throughout his life.

I kindly ask that you continue to have our family In your prayers.

Forever in our hearts!

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Harry

Can’t remeber a family get together at my house without Sal & Chris heroes…. R.I.P. … You will be missed

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Antonia

Now I know how my parents felt years ago when they told me they were upset about the previous owners selling the deli and even more upset when Sal (previous worker) passed away years ago. I was a teen back then and was little comfort to them. The other day when I told my teens that the store was closed and why we were not having sandwiches for dinner including how upset I was all i got is an eye roll emoji and a “get pizza or subways” through text. I turned into my parents and I think we all do eventually.

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Jan

Would be nice if all his customers purchased a sandwich in his memory and gave it to one of the many homeless people begging for food and money in the Ditmars area.

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Rosita

My husband and I were just there Sat afternoon , Best sandwiches ever, Charlie was a very king hearted man, always friendly with a joke or two. My condolences to his family, may Charlie RIP

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Louis Bauso

Great guy. Great store. Great sandwiches. No better cold cut sandwiches in Astoria. Charlie and his staff treated all like family. I having been eating there for 21 years and they treated cops from the 114 and firefighters with the utmost respect. Thank you.

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Alicia

My condolences and prayers are being sent to the family. Our mailman who delivered our mail at our daycare center would often purchase sandwiches for us from the deli. Best sandwich I’ve had. We enjoyed them so much that we would often have our meetings catered. Charlie was a very pleasant person to talk with. Rest in peace.

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The Walkuski family

Prayers for the family and friends. RIP Charlie. Ditmars has lost one of it’s best.

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Gregory

The best sandwiches and the nicest deli workers always kind and caring,Rip Charley l hope the deli continue to perform,I’m a retired correct officer but when I’m in queens I will steal stop by to buy a sandwich

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Lisa kealey

I was just talking to him a few weeks ago. I am so sad to hear this news. Condolences to his family.

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Celeste

So many law enforcement officers and firemen visit this deli. IMO, it’s one of the few place if not the only place (excluding houses of worship) in the Ditmars area where cars park on the sidewalk and no standing areas and not be ticked. Pedestrians and bicyclists usually have to maneuver themselves and be very careful of all the illegally parked cars and traffic with traffic officers seemingly not enforcing rules on both sides of the avenue. RIP.

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Viky

Many cars also park in the middle of the street by the Amtrack columns which is very dangerous for oncoming traffic. The traffic and illegally stopped/parked cars in that area has been going on for years and I do not think that the police enforce the rules or ticket that area as they do with other areas. The greek market recently added orange cones to try and maintain the flow of cars going onto the sidewalk passing by pedestrians. I passed by this location today and it was not as bad as it normally is because the deli was closed. Maybe if the deli closes for good (I hope it does not) that area will be monitored and cars will be ticketed for not obeying the rules.

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Mike

This is a post about a legend in Astoria and you are rambling on about illegally parked cars and tickets. Find somewhere else to do that and let people talk about Charlie and don’t disrespect, Viky

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vicky

A pedestrian and a cyclist were killed on that same avenue and side streets the past two years. We are reminded of the cyclists death every time we pass her shrine on the corner. Nothing wrong in trying to keep what you call his “legacy” alive by making his staff, customers and community safer. From what I read, it is what he would also want.

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Thassia

The deli will not close and the caos will continue! Police doesn’t care about it. They only care about bologna.

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David

@Celeste
REALLY!?
A great man of Astoria has passed away and you’re griping about Bike Lanes? Not to mention These Law enforcement officers and EMT’s that you’re complaining about risk their lives every day for our community. This man touched peoples’ lives, please be respectful.

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Citizen

Charlie (R.I.P) could not control people’s parking etiquette, it was not his fault of course.
There is a food vendor (grilling) across the street who parks his huge SUV on the side walk all day long and police wouldn’t give a damn. And delivery people on e-bikes/regular bikes riding full speed on the sidewalks and talking on the phone.. I see elderly being terrified unfortunately..

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gia

With so many police visiting that area daily and the abundance of traffic police in the Ditmars area ticketing as many drivers as they can the area in the article above has been over looked for years and parking rules and violations are not enforced. As you pointed out, that area is one of the worst for pedestrians but it is also dangerous for cars and bikes. It does not take a genius to figure out that traffic officers are likely told not to ticket that area.

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Thanasis

Thank you for never forgetting the local community and remaining true, kind and respectful to the neighborhood and your customers no matter how near or far they came from. I have so many great memories growing up in Astoria and this deli is one of them. You shall be missed.

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Anonymous

We are sorry for your loss. Sal, Kris , and Charlie’s is the place to go to get delicious food – where it feels like family. Our prayers are with all of you.

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Nick Natsoulis

May his memory be eternal.
I just can’t believe that Charlie passed away so early!
The most caring, loving person,
Always with a smile
And kind words for everyone one!
He will be missed dearly!
He treated everyone with respect ✊
We will
Ever forget you Charlie!
R.I.P.
My condolences
To the Family!

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Anthony

I don’t live near there but I do work in Astoria on and off for the last 20 years I always go when I’m there,the best sandwich shop anywhere. You walk into a fully crowded store and your always next. I spoke to Charlie on a few occasions about what an unbelievable operation he ran there I’m sad I won’t get to see him anymore. My deepest condolences to his family and to his customers. may you Rest In Peace Sandwich King

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Butter weeda and 9trey

RIP Charlie . For 20 yrs I’ve eaten there . Was staple before for my wife. We will never forget the things u did for us. The six foot heroes . the conversations and laughter . His wake is tonight.

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Roy Beaudoin

So sorry for your loss Charlie was such a caring person, buying sandwiches for years, still stop in when we are in Astoria Rip . Everyone will miss you and your great smile the Beaudoin Family

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Paul silverman

I remember taking my daughter to there so many times.
Sal used to give her always small cold cut bites.
RIP Charlie .

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Armando

So Sorry to hear this. I’m 63 yrs old been going there since I’m 16 yrs old with Sal just another great thing in my life gone. Sorry Kris and kids.

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Kenny Simmons

My condolences to the entire family he was the greatest will never forget the weather is so nice maybe ill see u twice gonna miss you king

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Hercules Kontogiannis

My Condolences to the family !!! My family loves the place and it has by far earned the best reputation in Astoria. I myself met Charlie and the family through my wife and fell in love with there sandwiches and the respect for there customers.!!! He will be missed and my deepest sympathy to the family may he Rest In Peace!!!

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Dennis Hubicsak

My condolences to all the Family. Nothing but respect when you walked into the deli and the best damm sandwiches
Around Queens !!!!!!!!!!♥️♥️

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Anonymous

Used to live in Astoria most of my life, then moved to Elmhurst. Even now living further away I frequently visit the sandwich king. I don’t care how long the commute can be it is worth visiting. Very sad to hear this news. R.I.P King.

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Naima

My deepest condolences to family, friends and all who him, may u rise quickly to meet the next phase of existence, for we are eternal’

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Clark’s

Mr and Mrs Clark
We are just customers that have been going there for years since my husband used to work at Rikers Island. He now retired and still continue to get our sandwiches from there. Our deepest condolence. 🙏🏽

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Gil Carrie

so sad to here , have so many great memories , grew up 4 blocks away , would go do laundry next door and get lunch , RIP

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Judy

My deepest condolences go to the family. He was a wonderful guy as is everyone who works in the store. He will be missed for sure but always in our prayers, hearts, and thoughts Forever

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Sharon Padilla

My heart is heavy–with emotion for which there are no words. I am so saddened to hear of the passing of Charlie Gordon. The Sandwich King is and has always been a staple in its neighborhood. Their heroes were legendary and delish! I live in Florida now and still miss them. My heart is heavy–with emotion for which there are no words. I will continuously and fervently pray for Charlie’s soul, for his friends and for his family. May he Rest In Peace.

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