Hurricane Harbor

A writer and a tropical muse. A funky Lubavitcher who enjoys watching the weather, hurricanes, listening to music while enjoying life with a sense of humor and trying to make sense of it all!

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Windy in Key West - NWS Key West Really Beautiful But The Deli Restaurant is closing...

Spent part of the day over at the National Weather Service in Key West where they were nice enough to give me a tour. Beautiful place, very nice guys, great view from the top of the building! Up where they launch the balloons and gather data. Very interesting. Amazing to think the 25% of them get returned when found which is a pretty high ratio considering most probably get found over the water. After the balloon measures the info there is a piece that falls down and has a return to sender envelope. No postage, just drop it in the mailbox..and people do, go figure.

So... a very windy holiday in Key West, fresh air and an eerie sense of what it would be like with a storm blowing in not just a "high pressure gradient"

The Deli Restaurant is closing down at the end of the month. I can't believe it. Been there forever.. over 50 years. I even interviewed Bobby the owner the other day regarding something else and he never mentioned it. Sharon Wells told me a short time later in her studio, I just stared. He is such sweet man and it is such wonderful place where so many locals eat breakfast, talk and just share their lives. Can't imagine where people will go.

I know it's not his job to keep running a restaurant forever and nor is it his job to try and hold on to what is gone, what was yesterday yet you can't help but wish he would change his mind and we could just linger a little longer and hold on a little harder to a world where... everyone knew each other by name and everyone got treated the same.

I'm sad but he deserves a lot of credit for hanging in there and keeping the place going. I suppose half a century is a long time, some of us just have a hard time saying good bye to something we love and a whole lot of us love The Deli Restaurant in Key West.

I know I always loved going in, getting a cup of coffee and just sitting and collecting my thoughts, my notes and rewriting things I was working on a bit. Staring up at the light as it pours through the cut out seahorses on the front door and watching people walk in, walk by and talking about the day to day life of living in Key West.

I will write on it another day I am sure but just know a great group of sweet, older people eat lunch there every day. Not to mention the Police Chief, locals... and even a few tourists. A real institution closing down and it bothers me more than Dennis Pharmacy... seeing as how I am not a cheeseburger person .. unlike Jimmy Buffett I can't say that I would or wouldn't know if they are the best in town.. but I do know that the Bernreuter family has run The Deli with love and attention to detail and provided people with the feeling they were home eating a good, home cooked meal.. nice staff, good food, great pictures on the wall by Donna Hayes and well... can't think of another place like it anywhere though I am sure there are a few but not in Key West and going to the Dennys or the IHOP just won't cut it.. won't be the same.

Reprinted from an article found online from the Key West Citizen.

Yup... a new office for the National Weather Service gets built, opens... the old one out by the airport closes and I hope those nice weather have another place they like to eat other than The Deli because that like the old weather office is closing, life does go on but it never stays the same.

Landmark eatery to close next week
Citizen Staff
Another Key West favorite will end a decades-long run when it closes its doors for good at 4 p.m. May 29.
The Deli Restaurant, at Truman Avenue and Simonton Street, is closing because of what owner Bob Bernreuter described as changing economics on the island.
Bernreuter, whose family has owned The Deli since 1950, said the cost of doing business in Key West continues to rise, while business steadily declines. He said there's no one else in the family who wants to take over the business.
He also blames the busy hurricane season of 2005 for a general slowdown in the area.
"Last year there really wasn't the recovery that everyone had hoped for," Bernreuter said. "We have a good local following, but it's just not enough anymore. ... If I raised the prices to where they'd have to go, it wouldn't be The Deli anymore."
Bernreuter said he has no intention of selling the corner property, but he will lease it. He lives next door on Truman Avenue, while his parents, John and Joan Bernreuter — who established the restaurant — still live in the house next door on Simonton Street.
"I don't foresee a restaurant going in," he said. "We want that era to end with us and get a less intensive and [less] risky business in there."
Bernreuter said the decision to close was a difficult one, and he thanked the local community for all its support over the years. Since making the announcement to his employees last week, he has been working to find other jobs for The Deli's 15 workers, some of whom have worked there for 10, 15 and even 25 years.
Bernreuter said he will focus on his writing and publishing company, Key West Publishing LLC, which he started a few years ago.
The Deli Restaurant is currently open daily from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.


Post a Comment

<< Home