Gourmet Again, a Pikesville deli with roots dating to the 1960s, has closed its doors.
“It was out of the blue,” said Steve Gordon, who works at the nearby Edmart Deli.
The eatery, which included a cafe and specialty store, opened in Baltimore in 1968 as the Gourmet Shop. It moved to Pikesville in 1972 and then temporarily relocated to Reisterstown from 1989 until 1994.
Owner Andy Hoffman confirmed the cafe was closing but did not comment beyond that.
The deli business has changed, Gordon said, as older customers are dying or moving away. He noted that local delis including Steve’s Deli in Owings Mills, Lenny’s on Lombard St. and Pikesville’s Suburban House had all closed in recent years, as had New York’s famous Stage Deli and Carnegie Deli.
“It’s just unfortunate,” Gordon said. “It makes you look at the handwriting on the wall for the rest of us.”
Jerry Schlichting, a former Gourmet Again manager whose family owned the store years ago, said it catered important life events for many Jewish families in the Pikesville area, from baby-naming ceremonies and shivas. The latter is a period when families stay at home following the death of a loved one. During shiva, friends could call Gourmet Again to put money in the family’s account to use toward food orders.
“In the true sense of shiva, the family should literally be doing nothing” during the mourning period, Schlichting said. “That’s where Gourmet Again came in.”
Following the end of shiva, Gourmet Again would send families credits for any money in their accounts that was not yet spent.
Schlichting, who left Gourmet Again last year, said he intends to honor those credits at a new business he will open this fall, called Clean Cuisine, Inc. He said he’s already begun receiving messages from people in the community who say they have thousands of dollars in unspent store credits.
“I do want to try to reach out and make people feel whole in some way,” Schlichting said.