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Cultural Capital

Katz’s Deli Hosted a Diplo Show on Sunday Night

Sausage party at Katz's.

11:15 AM EDT on August 22, 2022

Katz’ Delicatessen the morning after the big bash.

Late last night, should an innocent New Yorker have been passing by the intersection of East Houston and Ludlow Street, they might have found hundreds of people milling outside Katz's Deli hoping to gain entry into an exclusive guest-list-only party for which the only conceivable utility was a social media post of a blacklit Pastrami sandwich. The party—presented, naturally, by an energy drink company that also sponsors extreme sports teams—was headlined by a 43-year-old EDM artist who recently underwent one of the fastest reverse-cancellations in recent memory.

According to one party-goer, the energy was "okay."

Diplo presented by Red Bull at Katz's Delicatessen, branded as "Katz's After Dark" and capped at just over 300 people, was facilitated by the deli's third-generation millennial owner Jake Dell. In 2017, Forbes ran a profile of Dell praising the then-29-year-old for his "extensions of the Katz's brand." Under Dell's tenure, Katz opened up a location in Brooklyn and began shipping Katz products nationwide; as he told Hell Gate, the iconic deli has recently held, along with corporate events and Bar Mitzvahs, parties for Vogue and New York Magazine.

Dell, who has run Katz's since he graduated from Tufts in 2009, said the energy drink company requested to rent the space, though he hadn't initially been aware which "talent" Red Bull booked. He stayed for the set-up but couldn't party, being an adult with a new child and a business to run, though he did say Diplo ate a sandwich prior to the set. "It's about fun partnerships to reinvigorate a 134-year-old brand," he said. "You can't stay in 1888 forever. You gotta find ways to connect with different people."

Diplo, who was briefly cancelled in 2021 following two since-abandoned legal claims of non-consensual sexual behavior, played behind Katz's salami sign. According to Dell, Katz's back counter functioned as a stage and someone hung a little disco ball. "There's all sorts of pictures online," he said.

The scene was "really annoying," according to one party-goer: "It felt like L.A."

"Line gremlins were in full effect outside trying to cut everyone, really drugged out Zara vibes," they said. "Some good outfits here and there but it was the type of crowd you'd see taking fit pics at Fanelli's."

According to Dell, the NYPD's 7th Precinct was alerted to the party ahead of time. It ended, mercifully, around 4 a.m.

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