Owner of Baltimore's revered 'Lenny's Deli' passes away at 88

For those who live in the Baltimore area, Lenny's Deli is synonymous with great breakfast food, deli meats and possibly the best corned beef around.

Lenny's Delicatessen (photo credit: FLICKR)
Lenny's Delicatessen
(photo credit: FLICKR)
The co-owner of Lenny's Deli, one of Maryland's most revered delicatessens, Leonard Smith past away last Friday at the age of  88 - leaving behind an indelible legacy of serving the Baltimore community for nearly 35 years.
For those who live in the Baltimore area, Lenny's Deli is synonymous with great breakfast food, deli meats and possibly the best corned beef around.
The restaurant itself holds a nostalgic place in the hearts of many Baltimorians, becoming tradition in many households to meet up at the famous casual dining spot for breakfast, lunch or dinner - and known well for their devotion to catering to the community in more ways then one.
Smith founded the Lenny's Deli in Owings Mills, Maryland with his son, Alan, in 1985. Since then Lenny's has risen to become a staple in the Baltimore community.
It became a place where families and generations come together for birthdays, holidays and special occasions, where Marylanders flock to from far and wide for NFL game day breakfasts and all you see is a sea of Raven's purple filling out the dining room, a place where you know if you show up for breakfast on a weekend there is sure to be a line out the door and at least three people you probably know that won't be that surprised when they bump into you inside.
Not only has Smith lead a legacy of serving the Baltimore community as a whole, but has made quite an impact in serving the prevalent Jewish community located within the Baltimore area as well.
Lenny's is known for catering High Holiday lunches, dinners and Shiva houses, as well as many family get togethers. When you see the familiar face of Smith stamped on the dinner platter after a Yom Kippur fast, you already know you will be in a food coma by night's end.
A Baltimore native and Pikesville resident, Smith's funeral procession took place in Owings Mills at Sol Levinson & Bros. funeral home, where many Jewish Baltimorians are laid to rest - located just two blocks down the street from the deli.
Mourners leaving the procession honked their horns as they passed by the infamous deli on their way to the cemetery as a final tribute to Smith's legacy, according to JMore Baltimore Jewish Living.
Smith retired from Lenny's Deli in 2001, leaving the business in the hands of his son Alan.
After his retirement, Smith could be regularly seen hanging out in the Owings Mills dining room, talking to deli regulars and “solving the world’s problems in 20 minutes." He was a passionate fan of all Baltimore and Maryland sports teams - including the Colts, Ravens and Orioles as well as Maryland men's and women's basketball.
“He was a wonderful father and grandfather, but most importantly, he was a wonderful man,” Alan Smith told JMore.
Smith passed away on October 18 from complications due to contracting sepsis.
"He is survived by his loving wife Carolyn Smith (nee Moscoe), his children Sharon (Stephen) Freiman, Harris (Jill) Smith and Alan (Amie) Smith, his step-children Jason (Debbie) Glasser and Michael (Jeanie) Glasser, his grandchildren Rachel (Steven) Fox, David (Anna) Freiman, Stephanie Smith, Jordan (Heather) Smith, Kara (Danny) Boyd, Jennifer (Tim) Hilton, Michelle Smith, PJ Glasser, Nathan Glasser, Bret Glasser and Blake Glasser, his great-grandchildren Brenna, Alyssa, and Adina," read the Sol Levinson obituary.