Monday, March 19, 2007

The Cost of Business (Another Story from the Deli)

I heard that Michael was thinking of selling the deli. And so I wondered. Who would be next?

But then one day I saw a new man in the deli, and he seemed as in charge as Michael and Joy. So maybe Michael sold a part of his deli. The new man is tall and wiry, and he never stops moving.

A week after his arrival, and the deli's windows were covered with hand-written signs on neon cardboard in shocking pinks and greens. Hot Breakfasts! Hot Lunch! Sandwichs and Wraps! Hot Udong Soup! I looked, but I didn't try any of the new offerings.

Next, out went the fake espresso machine and in came a real one, made in Italy according to its sign. Fresh Cappuccinos! Mochaccinos! But an espresso cost $2.00, and I passed.

A few weeks later sticky buns lay on the counter. To heck with the budget and diet. 24-Hour Breakfast! I bought one and told myself I'd only stop in there every other morning.

Is ambition a thing, once seeded, that multiplies? The deli's latest acquisition is a hot buffet.

It cost $10,000, Michael whispered to me as he pushed out a cooler. $4.95 Hot Buffet Lunch! Hot Oatmeal! Hot Grits! The outside of the deli is still quintessential Blissville. Inside it now looks like a midtown Manhattan lunch pad.

Manhattan prices, too, the local workers grumble. On Queens salaries.

Though I've never tasted it, the food looks tasty as the new man carries out tray after tray of glistening fish, pork, chicken and vegetables, sauteed, steamed and baked.

Some of the workers admit they splurge every so often. Not bad, they say.

And for everyone else? Miller can 24 oz. $1.25!


Blogger Janet said...

Thank you, thank you for the deli update. XX.

9:37 PM  
Blogger Blissville said...

Which brings me to the present, eeks, out of deli stories. For the moment. Thanks for all your kind words!

6:48 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Need a picture of the Blissville Diner from the 60's. We will use it as a logo for the teeshirts on reunion weekend when former residents from the 40's - 60's return to Blissville. Non 9th the old Bradley Inn on Bradley & Greenpoint Avenues.

7:13 PM  

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