(May 3, 2013) A few months after retiring last May as CEO of VennGogh, LLC, a startup social media Web site focusing on nonprofit fundraising and crowd sourcing, at the age of 57, Warren Rosenfeld started to become a bit antsy.
When his wife, Dana, asked him if he were only to live another three months, what would he regret not doing? His response was “open a Jewish Deli.”
“All of my other businesses I feel I filled a need, a hole, in that marketplace,” he said. “I thought a Jewish deli would do so well [in Ocean City].”
He did some research and started planning his menu is September. He gathered menus from about 10 well-known delis, laid them all on a table and took items from each that he wanted to feature at his establishment.
He was familiar with the restaurant business. When he was 12 years old, his parents bought a diner in Washington, D.C. and they operated it for about 18 years. He worked at the diner throughout his teens and into his 20s.
Rosenfeld began practicing law at the age of 25 and his office was just a few blocks from the diner. He would still help his family when needed.
Rosenfeld, who moved to Ocean Pines in 2008, knew he wanted to open his deli in Ocean City. He looked at a few locations and found the home for his deli in a house-like structure on 63rd Street. In early December, he took over the space that for many years was the Sunshine House Surf Shop, and last summer was Dead Freddie’s Express.
A front wrap-around porch was built. Approximately 50 seats are available under cover and another 50 in an uncovered picnic area. There are a few tables inside the deli.
Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli opened Monday. Customers can dine at the deli or take food to go.
The delicatessen will be as “authentic as possible,” although it will not be strictly kosher. Its tag line is “Come treat your belly to our Jewish deli.”
“We’re trying to be authentic in every way, in look and feel of the traditional old New York Jewish delis,” Rosenfeld said. “We want to do it right.”
From the moment a banner advertising the deli was hung up in late December, people have anxiously anticipating its opening. The deli served about 400 people in its first two days open, Rosenfeld said.
Breakfast will be available all day. Full lunch and dinner menus will also offered.
Traditional Jewish fare along with popular diner meals will be served. Bagels, lox, challah, matzo brei, whitefish, herring, knishes, latkes, blintzes, chopped liver, an assortment of deli meats and cheeses, chicken in the pot and matzo ball soup, are among the items that will be sold.
Large portions and huge deli sandwiches will be the delicatessen’s trademark. Traditional deli sandwiches will be served on rye bread, unless otherwise requested. They include hot corned beef, pastrami and brisket, turkey salami, liverwurst, beef tongue and bologna. The sandwiches are served in three sizes: 8, 12 and 16 ounces.
A glass case in front of the deli will feature desserts made by several local bakers. Inside a 1948 refrigerator in the deli are Dr. Brown canned sodas.
Platters, catering, deliveries, a grocery-like menu of bagels, whole challah and rye bread loaves, and sliced meats, cheeses, smoked fish, and deli salads sold by the pound will also be available.
The smoked fish, knishes and bagel dough will be brought in from Brooklyn and New York City. All bagels will be baked on the premises. Deli meats will be supplied by Saval Foods of Baltimore. The corned beef and brisket are cooked in-house. Jeff Osias is the executive chef and general manager of Rosenfeld’s.
There are 10 investors in the business. Rosenfeld is the majority shareholder and managing member.
Depending on the deli’s success, Rosenfeld said he would like to expand the business to other locations.
The deli will be open Wednesday through Sunday, 7:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. until Memorial Day weekend. It will be closed the next few Mondays and Tuesdays to stock the shelves and train staff. Beginning Memorial Day weekend, the deli will be open seven days a week. Hours will also be extended into the late evenings.
The deli will be open year round.
To view the menu or for more information, visit www.RosenfeldsJewishDeli.com or search Rosenfeld’s Jewish Deli on Facebook.