Z’s Deli & Restaurant, which was a fixture in the downtown Duluth Skywalk for years, is back after a quiet Jan. 9 re-opening.
But the new Z’s Deli isn’t in the Holiday Center Skywalk, where owner Zeidan Zeidan ran it for more than 20 years. He closed the restaurant in 2011, after the recession had slowed business too much to continue. But the economy has picked up since then.
The new Z’s Deli is across the street at 220 W. Superior St., which has housed a series of failed eateries since the legendary Mr. Nick’s Char-burger served its last burger there in 2002.
“It feels great to see my customers and all my friends,” Zeidan said. “I’m here every day, greeting people, saying hello to people, shaking hands. We have most every single customer coming in, saying we are glad you are back. We are glad to see you. And that’s worth a lot, believe me.”
The new Z’s Deli has the same menu of sandwiches, salads, soups and all-day breakfast as the old restaurant. It’s again full service. It got its old telephone number —727-1803 — back. And it delivers anywhere downtown, just like before.
Most of the old kitchen staff are back, too.
“We made sure we got them to keep the food consistent,” Zeidan said.
The restaurant is open from 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Mondays through Fridays. Zeidan also is giving Saturdays a try with 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. hours.
So far, business is going well, he says.
“Weekdays are great, it’s wonderful, like I never left,” Zeidan said. “On Saturdays, there’s less people downtown. But the word is getting out. It may come around.”
They’re pushing that all-day breakfast, like their omelettes, and it’s paying off. People are coming back and ordering the same item again, he said.
Zeidan, who moved with his family last year to Doha, Qatar, is glad to be back in Duluth and back running a restaurant. His family roots are in the Middle East.
“People ask me, where did I go?” Zeidan said. “I went home and now I’m back home. This is my living, this is my home, this is where I am.”