If you smelled fresh bagels driving down Leetsdale Drive in Virginia Vale Tuesday morning, it came from Zaidy’s Deli.
The beloved Jewish deli and bakery reopened on Aug. 17 at its new storefront in the Leetsdale Shopping Center, after closing its previous location in Cherry Creek due to the pandemic.
Previous owner Gerard Rudofsky, who now works as a consultant, and new owners Joel Appel, Max Appel and Beth Ginsberg gathered outside the deli for a ribbon-cutting ceremony and a traditional Jewish blessing with about 15 loyal customers.
“Zaidy’s is a place where we come in for blessings,” Rabbi Rick Rheins said. “We come for nourishment, both of food as well as for the soul and spirit. The community needs Zaidy’s.”
Rabbi Rheins blessed the entryway with a mezuzah prayer and the group gathered together for a song. A mezuzah is a decorative casing placed on a door frame that holds a prayer from the Torah on parchment paper.
Then it was time to eat.
Zaidy’s is offering the usual Jewish fare of potato latkes, matzo ball soup, lox and eggs, cheese blintzes and Reubens. They also put their own spin on the knish with the cr’nish, a knish with a croissant crust.
The new location boasts a bar service, ample parking and next door, Zaidy’s will house a full bakery.
Joel Appel said that in time Zaidy’s will also offer Shabbat dinners.
“I’ve opened up a lot of businesses over the years,” Joel Appel said. “With a restaurant, there’s so many details and you get so close to your customers. It’s a wonderful experience.”
Zaidy’s first opened in 1985 and the name is Yiddish for “grandfather.” Rudofsky said he opened the deli because his family were big cooks.
“I was always into food,” Rudofsky said. “It was a passion of mine. I wanted a place for the community and I always thought the name Zaidy’s invoked family, food and friendship.”
A longtime customer approached Rudofsky during the interview, gave him a hug and said, “I love this man.”
The two talked for a bit, she told him he was handsome and that she was happy Zaidy’s was back.
Zaidy’s is open seven days a week from 7 a.m.-2 p.m. at 600 S. Holly St., next to McDonald’s.
“There’s other delis in town,” Rudofsky said. “They’re good but I don’t think they have the same ‘heimish,’ that warm feeling. I’m just glad we’re here and that the name will carry on.”