Pumpernickel’s Deli eyes return to Old West EndWritten by Joel Sensenig | Managing Editor | email@example.com
The owner of a former Old West End deli is bringing the sandwich shop back after a 10-year absence.
Noticing a lack of eateries in the neighborhood, Dennis Lange opened Pumpernickel’s Deli & Café in 1995 at 2499 Collingwood Blvd., which is now the home of Black Kite Coffee.
After a 10-year run at the sandwich shop known for its hearty sandwiches and homemade soups, Lange sold the business when he had an opportunity to work for Lucas County. Within several months of the sale, the business had closed.
Now the semi-retired Lange is bringing Pumpernickel’s Deli back to the neighborhood, working on renovations to 2489 Collingwood Blvd., two doors down from Black Kite.
He hopes to open the lunch establishment in mid-January.
“There’s still a need,” Lange said when explaining his return to the dining scene. “I’ve had so many people say, ‘I wish you were still open.’ After a while, I got to thinking, ‘Maybe this could be my retirement project now.’”
Lange previously ran another business in the same building, a Victorian tea room.
“The money I spent there 15 years ago is still there,” he said. “It just needed a good sprucing up.”
Lange has a clear vision of what Pumpernickel’s strengths were in the past and what he sees them being in the future.
“I’m not a huge foo-foo food person,” he said. “Everybody’s trying to make something that’s different for everybody. I’m looking at the person who says to me, ‘Gosh, I just want a good corned beef sandwich’ or ‘I just want a good Reuben.’ … So many of the new places people go in and you see the plate and it’s like, ‘Where’s the food?’ I want to give them a good hearty lunch, a salad that’s got something in it and a soup that’s got a lot of hearty and healthy things in it also.”
The deli will cater to its customers’ individual tastes, Lange said. They can customize their sandwiches with a choice of breads, cheeses and toppings.
“You tell me what you want on it, that’s what’s going to be on it,” he said. “It’s quite an extensive menu, but yet it’s a lot of the same ingredients just put together differently.”
It’s no coincidence Lange is returning to the Old West End for Pumpernickel’s second go-around.
“I hope the neighborhood and community come back to support us,” he said. “It’s going to be great to see folks I haven’t seen in a long time and be able to serve them again. … We’re hoping we can bring in some new business to the area, so we can help grow the area again. Over the last 8-10 years, the business community there has taken quite a hit. We’re hoping this is going to spark getting more people in.”
Pumpernickel’s hours will be 10:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday and a breakfast-only menu from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday. Delivery will be available to locations in the Old West End and Downtown.