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Bay Area Pastrami Destination Delirama Will Close This Weekend

Owners Cash Caris and Anahita Cann say running this business has become impossible

Berkeley’s Delirama is closing this weekend. But that’s not the end for owner Cash Caris.
Gado via Getty Images
Paolo Bicchieri is a reporter at Eater SF writing about Bay Area restaurant and bar trends, coffee and cafes, and pop-ups.

One of the Bay Area’s most sought-after sandwich destinations is about to go away. Delirama will close on January 28 at 3 p.m., or after all the pastrami and rye are gone. There won’t be any sandwiches on the menu this final weekend, either. Owners Cash Caris and Anahita Cann told the Chronicle running the business was not only challenging but impossible, so a major change is underway. “There can be no more flying by the seat of my pants, focusing on the passion of the project. That’s not sustainable,” Caris told the outlet. “We gotta do things properly and build a successful business from the back end first.”

Speaking to the paper, Cann blamed bad business sense and bad luck. A major walk-in shut-down cost the business about $100,000 in lost goods and repairs, and the two did everything from a GoFundMe to taking out a high-interest loan from POS systems business Toast to stay afloat. Caris will open a new business in the 1746 Solano Avenue space, but he’s not sure what just yet. The original restaurant is survived by an incoming business, though that won’t be called Delirama Jr. anymore. The Delirama identity is all but over, though the two will continue to sell pastrami by the pound, thanks to Caris and Cann’s original business Pyro’s Pastrami, and rye bread.

The restaurant opened at Solano Avenue in Berkeley in August 2022, putting “pastrami on everything” as KQED put it. Caris and Cann began Pyro’s Pastrami as a pop-up in Jack London Square back in the early days of the pandemic. Cann has since stepped away from the business, but, Caris is committed to opening these two businesses in the Bay. “Running a business should be first and foremost about making a profit,” an Instagram post from Delirama reads. “But for me it wasn’t about the money as much as it was about my love for the craft.”