Kaufman's Opening Pushed Back To Nov. 5
The beloved deli and bakery still getting necessary inspections; target date now Nov. 5th
The expected opening of Skokie’s iconic Kaufman’s Deli has been pushed back at least a week because of necessary inspections.
The delicatessen, which suffered a major fire Nov. 6, 2011, is now scheduled to open its doors to customers almost one year to the day later, on Monday, Nov. 5. The owner, Bette Dworkin, had been saying the big day would be Oct. 29, but getting all necessary permits after the village inspections has been taking more time than expected.
“It was starting to look a little bit hazy at the beginning of this week,” Dworkin said. “But we are now scheduled for full inspection process on Tuesday, the 23rd. Then we will get a certificate of occupancy. But we are not allowed to bring in any ingredients prior to the final certificate of occupancy.”
Dworkin could not absolutely commit to the new opening occurring on Nov 5. “I would like to believe that this is the beginning of the new beginning but I have never been through an inspection like this before,” she said. “I’m a little frustrated with the system.”
Skokie Mayor George Van Dusen labeled the turn of events as a "minor hiccup." “Sometimes it does take a while,” he said. “You have to get various departments coordinated and unintentional delays do occur. But everyone wants Kaufman’s to reopen and it is going to happen.”
Dworkin said if the new store and deli pass all the inspections Oct. 23, the chefs and bakers will start cooking in advance of the new opening with the intention of getting the freezers filled for the anticipated rush of customers. But once all the food is cooked and is in place, it is only then Dworkin can prepare her staff.
“I can’t bring in people to train if I don’t have any food,” she said.
Dworkin considered moving to another community, but as Patch was first to report in May, she decided to rebuild on the location which has been a Skokie destination since the 1960s.
Dworkin did not comment on the exact cost of the rebuilding but did label it as “seven figures.” She has been approved to receive $150,000 in TIF money from the village down the road.
So now Dworkin – and the village – point toward Nov. 5 as the date when the famed bagels and chopped liver will again be available at the Dempster Street street location.
Dworkin said, “We really can’t wait to welcome our customers.”