Published February 08, 2013
Facebook: Kitzel's deli set to close SundayRolf Boone/The Business Blog
The downtown Olympia deli known as Kitzel's is set to close Sunday after a year of business, according to a post on its Facebook page.Here's the post:"Dear fans, friends, and community members, after one amazing year we will be closing our doors this Sunday. Please join us through the weekend to say goodbye and grab one last bagel!"The Facebook post goes on to say that the business is open until 4 p.m. Sunday, its "final day of operation."Kitzel's can be found on Facebook at www.facebook.com/kitzelsHere's the story I did on Kitzel's in September 2011:A traditional Jewish delicatessen is set to open downtown, a business that will fill a longtime vacancy on Capitol Way near Fifth Avenue.The business is Kitzels Crazy Delicious Delicatessen. Kitzel is Yiddish for tickle, said Hava Aviv, a co-founder and one of the general partners of the business. The other general partner is Irina Gendelman.The two plan to open the Jewish deli in about mid-November in the space formerly occupied by a restaurant called Cielo Blu, which closed about three years ago, Aviv said.Aviv, 32, lost her job a year ago and Gendelman teaches at Saint Martins University, but both have had a lifelong dream of opening a Jewish deli. They didnt rush into this venture quickly, she said.They spent about a year researching and planning the business, including six months spent on lease negotiations, Aviv said. She picked up some business training while she was unemployed and grew up working in a family-owned restaurant. Another key part of their research was talking to owners of some of the most successful restaurants in the area, including San Francisco Street Bakery, The Bread Peddler, Wagners and Meconis, Aviv said. The research told them that opening a restaurant can be risky but it also emphasized the importance of a solid business plan, she said.Although they have been planning the business for some time, there still is more work to do. Aviv said they plan to sign the lease on Monday and are waiting on demolition permits and building permits from the city to renovate the former Cielo Blu restaurant.Much of the space still looks like the restaurant it once was, with tables and décor still in place, although the chairs are gone. Aviv said they will incorporate some of the leftover Cielo Blu design into the deli, but also plan new features as well. They include a larger kitchen, counter-style ordering, community seating, overhead menus and one wall in the business will have a chalkboard and two corkboards where guests can post notices about community events.If its your birthday and you want people to know, you can write it on the board, Aviv said.The partners also are using a community fundraising website called IndieGoGo (www.indiegogo.com) to solicit funds for the business in exchange for gifts. For example, if someone contributes $25 they will receive a complementary bagel and coffee upon opening, according to the website.Weve raised the majority of our startup costs, but were trying to fill the gaps, Aviv said, adding that by raising funds this way they hope to give those who contribute money a sense of having a stake in a local business.Kitzels will be a kosher-style deli, but not entirely kosher because research showed that people want a breakfast bagel in the morning that includes pork products, such as bacon or ham. They plan to make their own bagels and Jewish rye bread, as well as have salamis hanging in the window and they plan to sell produce outside in front of the business. Prices will range from $2 for a bagel and coffee to $40 for a gone fishing platter, which will serve four to six people and feature bagels and cream cheese, pickled items, vegetables, kippered salmon, salted herring, Nova Scotia lox and smoked whitefish. They expect to hire 11 to 14 people, most of whom will work part time, and the hours will be 7 a.m. 4 p.m. daily.Above all they want to introduce Jewish culture to the area through their food, just like Mexican, Vietnamese and East Indian restaurants do, Aviv said. Who doesnt like a good Reuben? Aviv said.