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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, , 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

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.”

Katie Gudgel October 19, 2012 at 12:00 PM
Mr. Mayor - it is more than "a minor hiccup" when certificate of occupancy is delayed by weeks. I have interacted with several new businesses that have opened recently and none have opened on their first certificate of occupancy inspection - despite having had spot inspections during construction. Instead during the first inspection the Village says to correct items A, B, and C. When they come back to make sure that those have been completed, they say that you also have to do D, E, and F (having never mentioned those either at the spot inspections or the first inspection). Then at the third inspection they might give the certificate of occupancy - but say that you still have to correct G, H, and I as well. Since these are not minor corrections, the delay in getting the occupancy can easily be a month. I wish Kaufman's the best of luck and hope that you pass your inspection and get your occupancy permit the first time around.
Sarah October 19, 2012 at 02:18 PM
Maybe the village needs to pay consultants to handle the inspections and let the village employees go. Sounds like they aren't doing their job if they have to come back and spot problems they missed.
janet easton October 19, 2012 at 05:07 PM
Did/does the buger/ice place-get your entire day worth of calories in one place-have any delays? I would assume not! Small business owners always get the short end....
sally October 19, 2012 at 05:18 PM
WOULD THEY BE HIRING SOON TOO THEN??
Lorel Park October 19, 2012 at 10:16 PM
Katie, you seem to be on top of the Village. When are you announcing you are running for Mayor? You have to have some reason for being all over town looking for issues to stir up and for you to become the expert on. Look forward to seeing some signs in the lawn!

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