Before we talk about your deli, lets learn a little bit about yourself. Where did you grow up and go to school David?
David: Thanks for inviting me Joel. I grew up in Hartford CT and went to school in upstate NY and law school in New Orleans
Very different places
I’ll say! So when you were growing up, what did you want to do for work, and was eating at a deli common for you?
David: I first thought I wanted to be an architect — then law. We actually did not have great delis in CT.
But I remember always eating at Katz’s on trips to NY with the family and loved watching guys carving sandwiches.
Nice memories! So after law school, what led you to come to MN and open a deli?
David: Moving to MN was about 15 years pre-deli. My wife Pam is from St Paul. I didn’t have a chance of staying East.
I practiced law for about 10 yrs and then worked in commercial real estate. Then started looking at this building.
I felt we really needed a good deli in town as well as a good neighborhood gatherng spot in this particular location.
And not being a restaurant guy myself, I started talking with Tobie Nidetz who was equally passionate about it.
That was about a year ago — and here we are.
Had you worked in the restaurant business at all before? In what ways did Tobie help you?
David: I had worked with restaurants as a lawyer and in real estate but knew I needed a real restaurant operator here.
Tobie is our GM and was instrumental in developing the concept, the kitchen, the menu, etc etc
I see. So what kind of “vision” did you have for your Deli? What were some of the things you felt HAD TO be on the menu?
David: Vision is to create a unique place using traditional deli flavors and ingredients in a scratch, sustainable kitchen
The critical items are great bagels, bialys, and house-made meats using antibiotic and hormone free beef.
And of course great local craft beers (as well as He’Brew).
Finally, a great black and white cookie, which you don’t see much of in MN.
Now that you’re open, what have been some of the more popular items on your menu? What’s for dessert options?
David: The most poupular item has been the Knife & Fork Reuben, served as an open faced platter the way Reuben himself did
For breakfast, our challah french toast and lox bagel have both been flying.
All of our dessert items are baked here — traditional cheesecake, B&W cookies, and our rugalach lead the pack
My mouth is starting to water! Is it lunchtime yet? 🙂 So where can people find you and what are your hours?
David: We are in the old Auriga bldg — 1930 Hennepin Ave. Online at rye deli.com.
Open at 7 AM every day and kitchen closes at midnight — bar stays open even later
So David, looking ahead a few years, do you see yourself possibly expanding the deli to other locations?
David: You are like the guest who asked me on our very first day open when we were opening in Minnetonka.
I probably sound like a politician but — you never know what the future holds but right now we are focusing here.
But we are about to start catering and delivery — so get in your orders for Superbowl parties!
Nice timing! 🙂 Thank you for your time today and being part of a @MNMOmag Twitterview. Have great day!
David: Thanks again for the invite. It was fun and we are holding a seat at the bar for you.