Popular NW Portland deli to close after 32 years

Published: Mar. 20, 2023 at 5:53 PM PDT
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PORTLAND, Ore. (KPTV) - After 32 years, Kornblatt’s Deli on Northwest 23rd Avenue in Portland has announced it’s closing its doors on March 31. A lot of the regulars that come often are very emotional about it.

Andrea Smith has been coming to Kornblatt’s for more than 20 years. She said after hearing it will close, it’s a big loss.

“I think it’ll be sad,” Smith said. “I know a lot of people come here. It’s been around for a long time. Just having a part of our community leave is sad or a business leaving that’s been around for a long time.”

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Kornblatt’s first opened on Father’s Day in 1991. Since then, it was a favorite for its Jewish deli items for customers like Kellen Schrader.

“Just like really, nostalgic East Coast food is not really easy to find over here,” Schrader said. “Getting latkes or matzo ball soup and stuff like that. I don’t know where else I’m going to go for that stuff. It’s a pretty big deal to lose Kornblatt’s.”

The current owner of Kornblatt’s didn’t want to go on camera but he said the decision was made after he saw business change during the pandemic. He said rising food and labor costs have made it more difficult to stay open.

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It’s disappointing for Schrader, who made coming here part of her week.

“All my friends that live in the neighborhood, we usually come here Saturday (and) Sunday mornings and debrief our night out,” she said.

Since starting a job down the block a few months ago, Smith said she’s also found a go-to order.

“They have lox cream cheese which is really good,” she said. “Then I get their maple sugar latte. It’s really good.”

The owner of Kornblatt’s said he sold the location to another restaurant operator. He said they will open a space selling bagels in a few weeks.