Yesterday, fans of Saul's Delicatessen in Berkeley were sent into a tizzy, after the Jewish News Weekly published a story indicating that owners Peter Levitt and Karen Adelmen were "seeking buyers" for their thirty-year-old restaurant. However, that's not exactly the case: ultimately the duo hopes to hand over the restaurant to someone committed to keeping the deli tradition alive, but they currently have no plans to give up their day jobs.
In fact, Levitt told Eater, he's having the most fun he's ever had running Saul's right now, as the restaurant approaches it's 30th anniversary this fall. The recent installation of acoustic panelling from Meyer Sound and planned upgrades to the kitchen are all part of the plan to keep the deli thriving as it approaches its thirtieth birthday. Referring to Jewish deli institutions like the hundred-year-old Russ and Daughters in New York, Levitt says that a good deli has to make it to thirty years at least, before it can really settle in for the long term.
That's why Levitt and Adelman are gently starting the process of finding their successors starting now— it will take a special person to take over the reins of running a business of this kind. Specifically, a young dedicated person with a culinary background, and thorough understanding of the intricacies of Jewish culture, and who can take the deli through the next thirty years at least. Ideally, says Levitt, there would be an extended transition period where he and Adelman could hand off the deli. If nothing else, that somewhat ambiguous JWeekly article might just help Saul's find its next owner sooner, rather than later.
In the meantime, the deli continues to serve an array of Jewish delicacies made with high-quality local ingredients, like corned beef, house smoked pastrami made with BN Ranch beef, matzoh ball soup and a wide selection of deli items like herring, hummus and potato salad.