Last October, we lost Zaidy’s Deli to the pandemic… or so we thought.
Turns out that wasn’t the end for the beloved Jewish deli. BusinessDen reported that this June, businesswoman Beth Ginsberg will reopen Zaidy’s at 600 S. Holly St., two miles away from its previous location. The deli’s original owner, Gerard Rudofsky, will return to work on the staff for at least three years.
Ginsberg has experience in the bagel business. She previously owned The Bagel Store on Monaco Pkwy, and currently owns Trompeau Bakery on S. Broadway. She says when she worked at The Bagel Store, Zaidy’s was one of her favorite customers. She’d sold baked goods to them for nine years.
“I was really familiar with Zaidy’s,” she said. “I knew their business, I knew their customers. Most importantly, it’s my food. It’s my peeps. It’s really my community.”
She said Rudofsky, who’d operated the deli for 35 years with his son Jason, had wanted to sell the deli for a long time, but that she couldn’t meet his asking price.
Then, Zaidy’s closed.
Ginsberg said some community members, who knew her experience with The Bagel Store, encouraged her to step in and revive it.
“They said, ‘This is right up your alley. This is something that you could do with your eyes closed,'” she said. “I can’t do it with my eyes closed. But my eyes wide open, I think I can do this.”
Last month, she teamed up with her business partners Max and Joel Appel, who created OxiClean, to buy the space in the Leetsdale Shopping Center, where Ambli Mexico used to be. She says she’s devoted to bringing Zaidy’s back to its “glory day.”
“Zaidy’s has been around for 35 years. It’s not a fly-by-night,” Ginsberg said. She remembers reading through the Facebook posts, emails and texts that flooded in when Zaidy’s announced it was going to close, all from people who’d had their first dates there, or baby naming ceremonies, or bar mitzvahs.
“Zaidy’s was a part of so many people’s lives,” she said. “It wasn’t just a restaurant. It was a real life establishment for many, many people for 35 years. ”
She said a huge part of it was Rudofsky himself.
“He was the face and the name of Zaidy’s for 35 years, and people love him,” she said. Rudofsky will return to work full-time at the new location, greeting guests and running the kitchen to make sure the menu stays true to the original deli.
The new location, which Ginsberg says will be more sophisticated than a typical day diner, comes with a patio and plenty of parking. It’ll bring back a lot of old favorites, using original recipes for the matzo ball soup, brisket, egg omelets and Reuben. Ginsberg will be adding pastries from Trompeau Bakery, house-smoked salmon and homemade bagels to the deli’s menu. The Zaidy’s team is also introducing new offerings like bagel flights and a full bar, and is considering programming like Friday Shabbat dinners.
The team is also renting the space next door, a 2,700-square-foot unit that they plan to turn into an events space with a catering kitchen. It’ll be called Zaidy’s Next Door, and Ginsberg says it’s a place where people can dance and enjoy live music.
Starting sometime in June, Zaidy’s will open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Ginsberg says they may eventually extend the deli’s hours to open for dinner.
“We’re going to listen to our customers, and we’ll see what that brings us,” she said.