Kitzels Jewish Delicatessen said goodbye to downtown Olympia on Sunday, closing its doors after about a year of business.
Its closure was announced Friday on Facebook which stimulated customer activity over the weekend and on a signboard that was set up outside the restaurant at 514 S. Capitol Way.
Hava Aviv, one of the general partners of the business, said Sunday that it simply came down to revenue, and Kitzels didnt have enough of it to keep going.
It was great when we opened, and it was great when we closed, she said about the number of customers who visited the business at those times.
But it didnt have enough customers in between, she said.
There was community and there was support, and it saw us through the beginning and the end, Aviv said, adding that many customers had returned to say, Thank you.
But why it didnt attract more customers will require more analysis, she said.
They had a very supportive landlord and the food was well received, Aviv said. She acknowledged, though, that the business didnt spend a lot of money on advertising.
At its peak, the business employed 24; it had four employees before it closed. Aviv, too, worked at the business, putting in 60-hour weeks, she said.
Aviv, along with general partner Irina Gendelman and investors such as Laura Schrager, opened the business in December 2011.
It filled a longtime vacancy on Capitol Way after a previous restaurant called Cielo Blu had closed in 2008.
Schrager, too, was at Kitzels on Sunday, saying that both Friday and Saturday were busy days for the business.
It met a need for the Jewish community and the Olympia community, she said. Its hard to give up, and it will be hard to replace.
Customers Sunday were surprised to hear it was closing.
Frequent customer George Nigro of Olympia said he didnt have a clue the business was closing. He dined there weekly, often bringing his daughter, he said. Nigro, who ordered corned beef and hash on Sunday, said the food was good and he liked the atmosphere. And it always seemed to have customers, he said.
Kitzels had an open feel to it, with high ceilings and a giant chalkboard community calendar on one wall. It also had a giant chalkboard menu, which was lowered and raised frequently Sunday as the business sold out of certain menu items.
Customer Kara Steward of Olympia also described herself as a regular, visiting weekly or every other week, she said.
I had no idea it was closing until I saw the sign, she said.
Then she joked about how much food she could take home before it closed, saying she loved the bagels and the borscht.
I was slowly working my way through the menu, Steward said.
She, too, said the deli always seemed to have customers.
Its too bad, Steward said. They had a great menu.
Rolf Boone: 360-754-5403