After a two-year hiatus, Hobby’s Delicatessen & Restaurant is better than ever
After a two-year hiatus, Hobby’s Deli in Newark invites customers to enjoy the same iconic food and experience in a new and improved setting, but with a temporarily streamlined menu.
The famous words “what’s old is new” have never been truer, especially when it comes to Hobby’s Delicatessen & Restaurant in Newark.
The bustling culinary landmark – known for its tight quarters and bustling atmosphere – has remained closed for the past two years amid the pandemic, but owners and brothers Marc and Michael Brummer have proactively used the downtimes. stop to update the renowned restaurant’s equipment and reconfigure its kitchen and dining room to ensure a safer flow for customers and employees.
“We’re a downtown deli operating in compressed space and every square inch is essential to us,” said Marc of the restaurant, which resides in a century-old building and has been owned by the Brummer family since 1962. “We had three people working in only 6 feet of space and we couldn’t put our team in that situation during the pandemic.
“Our counter was 18 feet long and there were 10 people working there on top of each other – it just didn’t work during COVID,” Michael agreed. “We decided to do a renovation to create a more open, socially distanced and safe workspace.”
While they were closed for in-person and take-out service, “we worked to improve our 1970s design and make operations more efficient,” said Michael, who noted that he, Marc and some staff spent part of the first summer of the pandemic in a test kitchen on Long Island picking out their new equipment and making sure it would work the way they needed it to. Among other improvements at Hobby’s, “we have a new steam table that will allow us to steam corned beef and pastrami more gently,” he said (although they still have the table father’s original steamer from the 1950s on hand just in case).
“Working with an architect and a restaurant designer, we opened up a wall, moved our main entrance, cash register and dessert section to the dining room, and transformed our old deli into an open concept deli/kitchen. “, said Michael. . “We now have a short order line with a second hood for all short term cooking which will create a better and safer workflow.”
According to Marc, the new design represents teamwork. “We discussed our operational needs with all of our key people and reassessed all of our processes,” Marc said, adding that their upgrades also included a new air conditioner and air filters to improve occupant comfort and safety. as well as a new computer. system that facilitates online ordering.
“What we’ve created will ensure a more streamlined and secure workflow,” he said. “We are now ready to do more business and it will be easier on us and our health and will provide greater peace of mind.”
The Brummer brothers, however, made a conscious decision to reopen with a smaller menu and no staff in the dining room. For now, customers are encouraged to order online, at the kiosk or at checkout, then bring their bag to the dining room to feast.
“As we grow our staff and learn all the new equipment and technology,” Michael said, “we need to be small in order to produce with the high quality we are known for. As we learn and grow, we will be able to add to our menu and reopen the service of servers in the dining room.
An iconic experience — reinvented
If you’re one of the many loyal customers who crave everything from the restaurant’s high-end sandwiches (like its famous “#5,” house-marinated corned beef and pastrami with Russian dressing and coleslaw) to its authentic ball of matzoh soup, homemade potato pancakes, grilled chicken, freshly ground charcoal grilled burgers and more, you’re in luck.
“The Hobby’s Delicatessen specialties that people have come to know and love are exactly the same or better than before, but now with a safer and more efficient process,” Michael said.
“Every day we were closed, we responded to messages from customers by phone, email and social media about when to reopen because they wanted us to come back,” Marc said. “We are a key link between the business sector and the Newark community and people from all walks of life come to Hobby’s.”
“We invite everyone to come back to Hobby’s,” Michael said. “It was fantastic to see our customers again.”
Hobby’s is located at 32 Branford Place (corner of Halsey) at Hobby’s Plaza in downtown Newark, NJ (just one block from The Rock). Current hours are 11:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m., Monday through Saturday.
Visit hobbysdeli.com. Email [email protected] or call 973-623-0410.