Pumpernickles Deli has permanently closed at 11036 Olive Boulevard in Creve Coeur. The restaurant announced the closure Monday on Facebook, saying it was “due to economic conditions.”
Owner Harlan Levin said before the pandemic, workers from nearby offices accounted for 80% to 85% of Pumpernickles’ lunch business Tuesday through Friday.
“The office buildings are empty,” Levin said. “They’re still not coming. They’re trickling back to work. But you come in here during the week now, it’s all retired people.”
Pumpernickles is not losing money, Levin said. He and his son, Bryan, stopped taking a salary at the beginning of the pandemic, which allowed the restaurant to keep its employees.
“But at the end of the day, we did this to keep our employees working (and) service the Jewish community,” he said. “And it just got to be a grind after two years of not making a paycheck.”
People are also reading…
Levin believes Pumpernickles’ business would have come back, but not for another year to 18 months.
“I’m 67,” he said. “Financially, I don’t need it. I’m ready to retire. And that’s what it came down to.”
Levin, who took over Pumpernickles in 2012, listed the restaurant for sale six months ago.
“We thank our customers for your continuing support and patronage,” the restaurant’s Facebook post continues. “After all these years you are family to us.
“Best wishes to everyone!!”