Save the Deli

Katz’s Closes (In Phoenix)

I was going to write about my trip to Cleveland today, but once again the death of a deli has put the deli saving aside for a moment. Steve from Arizona has just sent me word that Katz’s of Phoenix (no relation to Katz’s in New York, Austin, or elsewhere) has closed.

From the Arizona Republic:

Katz’s Deli quietly closed last week after serving bagels, blintzes and corned beef hash in north central Phoenix for more than 30 years.

Craig DeMarco, owner of Postino Winecafe in the Arcadia section of east Phoenix, bought the 1977 deli last Friday. This week, he wasted no time in starting to convert the 1,000-square-foot restaurant at 5144 N Central Ave. into Postino Central.

DeMarco said the second Postino will also offer a large selection of wines and a menu featuring panini, bruschettas and salads. But DeMarco has hung on to the deli’s menu and plans to add some new deli-influenced menu items like pastrami panini “as a tip of the hat to Katz’s.”

He said he expects Postino Central to open by January.

Howard Welcher, who owned and ran the popular Katz’s since 1977, died in May at age 70. Family members listed the restaurant, which is on Central just north of Camelback Road, for sale.

Wanda Welcher of Phoenix, who ran Katzs with her late husband and their daughter Michele Roberts, called the decision to close the legendary spot extremely hard.

When my daughter locked the door for the last time she cried, Wanda Welcher said.

But, Wanda Welcher said, she recently underwent treatment for cancer and keeping the deli going became impossible, especially because the aging building needed repairs.

Wanda Welcher said she would be pleased if Postino Central would put some Katzs favorites on its menu.

People would tell us they would wake up craving our ‘fire hash,’ a Katzs specialty that blended corned beef hash, jalapenos and red peppers, she said.

Also popular were the delis ruben sandwiches with jalapenos, she said.

8 Responses to “Katz’s Closes (In Phoenix)”

  1. oldsalt Says:

    Now “Fire Hash” & eggs would probably be one mean breakfast. Figures that Arizonites and also
    New Mexicans need to put hot peppers in everything.

  2. Stephen Folkson Says:

    I think this is part of life. I grew up in the west Bronx in New York City and could find a six or seven delis in any direction.
    Of course, at that time the Jewish population was about 85%.
    I now live in Oakland Gardens (Queens) in New York City,
    where there are four delis closeby, and until recently, a first
    class dairy emporium. The Jewish population of this area is approximately 65%. Along with this, people are trying to stay away from the stuff because of health concerns. However, I. I must also mention that we have Main Street in Flushing with a plethora of Jewish stores. No delis. but lots of other things..

  3. Howard Says:

    Noch an imglick –

    A deli ist shver arbeit un mere darf hoben a such mazel.

  4. delibelly Says:

    on a brighter note,the original owners of new yorks pastrami queen have opened in boca raton florida.went last night and the food was amazing!!!

  5. Steve Says:

    My heart is broken. Always terrible coffee, especially the second cup, but the best eggs with salami, great service, great attitude. This is a true shonda.

  6. Donna Says:

    But the REAL katz’s on the lower east side is doing
    just fine!

  7. Judy Says:

    Personally I loved the coffee. I had the pleasure of working for the Welcher’s for Three years and I will miss all the customers that had made my time there so wonderful. The food was great too. They still used real eggs in their omelette’s and the food was homemade, Impossible to find these day’s.

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