Jewish delis are not a common sight in these parts, nor are independent hold-outs in suburban strip malls. Full Belly Deli, which opened in 1987, was one of those rare gems. It's no secret the deli was facing challenges, though, as owner David Rosen said as much in a liquor license application to the city last month. The main reason he listed for the request was that he was seeking "new tools to compete with the big chain restaurants," and he hoped that the promise of alcohol would put the business on life support until his daughters could finish college.
Unfortunately, it seems the business has flatlined. Sources are in agreement that despite the sign on the front door, the owners aren't just "on vacation," but have closed up shop for good. The phone has gone unanswered for weeks and the Facebook page has seen a similar lack of attention. At least one longtime employee has allegedly confirmed that the deli is done. If true, where will the city turn for knishes now?
Update, 1/20/15: The Press Herald got a hold of Rosen, who confirmed the sad news that Portland's only Jewish delicatessen has closed.