SOUTH EAST LAKEVIEW — While New York Delicatessen might look a little different when it reopens this week, it will still feature the same great sandwiches, its new owner said.
The 2921 N. Clark St. eatery closed in March for renovations after previous owner David Lobo sold the business to a former employee, Isaac Work.
New York Delicatessen, 2921 N. Clark St., is reopening this week. [DNAinfo Chicago/Ariel Cheung]
"I really liked the way [Lobo] treated people. I liked the environment in there, and I liked the food a lot. Even though it's a New York deli, it has that great local feel," Work told DNAinfo Chicago.
Work said he consulted neighbors and Ald. Tom Tunney (44th) to see how he could improve the decade-old restaurant, which he purchased along with another investor.
"The consistent feedback we got was keep the food, but change how it looks, and that's what I did. We wanted to make sure we kept the character of what it was before and, at the same time, bring through a major upgrade and make the food higher quality," Work said.
The redesign features new overhead lighting and Big Apple touches like a subway sign and antique coffee grinders, along with new seating and metallic counters. Work said he was hoping to achieve an old-school mom-and-pop vibe with swing music and counter candy jars.
New York Delicatessen, 2921 N. Clark St., closed in March for renovations. [DNAinfo Chicago/Ariel Cheung]
As for the menu, old favorites like the RJ pastrami and pepperjack sandwich (now the House Special) and the Giuliani Italian sub are back. The deli also offers soups, salads and desserts. The deli will continue to serve Boar's Head deli meat, but all other food will be from local companies.
As for what it's like to follow in the footsteps of his former boss, Work said he's looking forward to the challenge.
"To be able to take this into my own hands, I feel confident after having so much experience. I'm not just blindly coming in and changing everything. We just wanted to dress it up a little bit," Work said.
Isaac Work [DNAinfo Chicago/Ariel Cheung]
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