Gio’s Café and New York Deli in Dallas is Closing on January 31

Why does Dallas continue to kick pastrami to the curb?

Bad new for deli lovers: Gio’s in North Dallas is closing on January 31. Manager Mark Walls just confirmed. “This construction just did us in,” Walls said. “The guys who fund this place aren’t restaurant guys and they are tired of funneling money in.” Gio’s will not be relocating.

The construction he refers to is the tangle of rebar and concrete at LBJ and Preston Road. Preston Valley Shopping Center is also home to Stein’s Bakery,India Palace, Shanghai Restaurant, Fuji Steak House, Café Greek, and Penzy’s Spices.

A SideDish reader tells me the landlord already has two clients with deli concepts lined up to open. Walls couldn’t confirm this but said potential renters have toured the property.

What a snake-bit location for deli. Ed’s Deli closed in December 2008 , Roasters and Toasters lasted less than a year after replacing Deli News Too.

Almost two years ago, I posted:

The stretch of Preston Road that runs south from LBJ Freeway to Royal Lane has seen its fair share of delicatessens come and go. Many of us remember Wall’s Delicatessen, which opened in 1951 in Preston Royal Shopping Center. Then, of course, there was Gilbert’s in Preston Forest. Wall’s closed in 1990 and operates only a catering facility, and Gilbert’s ceased its cranky operation in 2004. Ed’s Deli, Deli News Too, Zinsky’s, Bagelstein’s, and Roasters’ n Toasters have all opened and closed in the last few years.

Why can’t Dallas support good delicatessens? Gio’s, we’ll miss your hot Italian sausage with grilled peppers and onions and your half sours.

 

36 comments on “Gio’s Café and New York Deli in Dallas is Closing on January 31

  1. i liked Gio’s. Gilberts was doing great but got into LL battle (from what we hear)…maybe the problem is Prston & LBJ v. forest or royal.

  2. I’m totally not surprised that they didn’t close a long time ago. They must have had a long lease.
    Sorry, but it certainly was not the old, “LBJ construction” excuse that did them in.
    It was their overly salted poor excuse for NYC Jewish deli food. On the very few times I was there, they were empty! After eating there, I could see why.

    Thank goodness we still have Deli-News for us deli starved ex-New Yawkas. And although Cindi’s does have a strong following, I personally do not consider them a true NYC style Jewish deli.

  3. Jon, the son and his father got into an actual fist fight with the landlord over a lease dispute. I’ll tell you more when I see you.

  4. Hmm, I wonder why all the delis on one stretch of road keep closing. I mean, deli after deli on this stretch of road just keep going out of business. What could each DELI on this STRETCH OF ROAD have in common? It just isn’t coming to me.

  5. Hopefully, Kenny & Ziggy’s from Houston will move in. But I know they’ve complained about the overly high rents in Dallas and that’s what’s kept them out of the Dallas “deli market”. But with K&Z’s high menu prices they could survive and flourish if they could sustain steady high traffic in that space.
    After all, India Palace isn’t the cheapest (or the best) Indian food in Dallas but they’re still going strong.

    http://www.kennyandziggys.com/

  6. Nancy, I would like the opportunity to be able correct my grammatical mistakes and add to or change what I wrote after I viewed my post. Simply, like other blogs. Even City of Ate now gives you five minuted to edit a post.

  7. With all due respect to your post, It’s not the “stretch of road” that’s done them in. It has to do with the individual deli’s and their own problems. Be it food or family related.

  8. Sure, all eight of them. Clearly, that is not an area where a deli is going to stay in business.

  9. Gio’s did have a lot of issues. No dinner service for the last year ‘due to construction’ was one of them, as was very inconsistent food… Sometimes good, sometimes mediocre. But I really do look to the demographics of the neighborhood that they were in… A long time ago maybe a deli may have had enough non-Dallasites to survive south of 635, but no longer. We were also briefly fans of Zinsky’s Deli further south (Preston and Royal), but the local community didn’t support a deli that was targeted at their own demographic. We do need a great deli, and Deli News does continue to carry the torch, but it’s located a pretty shabby and run down area that isn’t going to draw new forks to the table. I do think that large, modern New York Deli and bakery would hit it out of the park in North Plano, Frisco, Allen or McKinney. Why? Large numbers of non-Dallasites from New York, California, Illinois, etc. who grew up with great pastrami and matza ball soup, and don’t mind paying a buck or two extra for real food.

  10. Yes, thank you. I’ve already figured that out. However, the X is only on your post for a very short time. So one must act quickly to make “repairs” to their post.

  11. “Deli News does continue to carry the torch, but it’s located a pretty shabby and run down area that isn’t going to draw new forks to the table.”
    Preston and Campbell – located in a high-dollar part of Far North Dallas – is “shabby and run down”? Sure, the Deli News shopping center ain’t Highland Park Village, but that area is anything but shabby and run down.

  12. How did we ever get to the mindset that the only place for a NY-style deli to exist in Dallas is at either the Preston/Forest or LBJ/Preston interesections (incidentally, I still mourn the loss of Gilbert’s potato salad and cole slaw)? Why is there nothing in uptown or closer to downtown Dallas that even competes? We’re suffering here in E. Dallas.

    I’ve heard Mark Cuban was a huge fan of Gilbert’s. Maybe he should get involved. He’s already saved the most ethnically friendly annual event in the city. I say it’s time for Mark’s Deli. You can order a Dirk (a reuben on German rye w/extra sauerkraut), the O.J. (mostly ham, but served with lots of mayo), or for dessert, the Lamar Souffle (starts out fresh but then just falls flat..it actually doesn’t even want to be on the menu).

  13. Half that strip center is empty, and it looks like it hasn’t had a paint job or refresh since the ’80s.

  14. I agree, Judas. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the area that Deli-News is located in. The other part of the center they occupy may be a little run down but certainly, there is nothing shabby about Deli-News or their neighborhood.

  15. T. Willow, in the words of Wyatt Earp in “Tombstone”….I ain’t got the words. Many, many thanks.

  16. Guy, come to think of it, I’m quite sure Deli-News sells Thumann’s potato salad! More expensive than Hirsch’s but, well worth it!

  17. I am the odd man out here, I loved Gilbert’s and never had a bad sandwich at Gio’s (lucky me?). On the other hand, I did try Deli News once and did not like my sammy or the soup. All in all, the question still stands, why can’t more deli’s survive here?

    Oh and yes, I like Cindy’s too.

  18. Very sorry to hear this. I will miss the best Smoked whitefish salad this city has ever seen. RIP

  19. Its sad to see a business fail, and I wish them well. Frankly though, there’s a very small audience that even likes New York style deli food. Even in NYC.

  20. No online ordering from Thumanns is available, so I called Hirsch’s. You are correct; no potato salad/slaw till April, unless you special order it in 5-lb containers.

    Hope you’re right about this, Willow. I thought it was a recipe made by the owners of Gilberts (saw the father of the owner of Gilberts making it at Cindy’s for a while, after Gilberts had closed). I’ve had my heart broken by potato salad too many times in the past (which sounds like a Jewish C&W song, now that I think of it).

  21. @Guy. You can call Ruba Choudhury at Texas Deli Provisions. He is Thumann’s distributor in Dallas. You can order from him although, he also may have a large minimum or, he can advise who and where the Thumann’s potato salad is retailed. (972)-251-0149

  22. I loved Gilbert’s too. But the owner and his dyslexic family ruined it for me.
    When they were forced move and found that location on Beltline in Addison, it was the owner and his wife and their son’s horrible rude attitude towards their customers that caused them to close. Not the food!

  23. I used to manage a shop there at Preston and Forest and loved Gilbert’s hot dogs w/ sauerkraut, that they kept on the grill in the front window. Larry Gilbert was a friend and we used to have lunch there almost every day. Really miss the place!

  24. My friends and I enjoyed their food and selection. The family (Lisa, Spiro and Kosta) were always nice to me, well intentioned and I received great service from both Angie and Michael. There was something off with the “business” side of it – at the very least it’s marketing ie: I signed up to be on the mailing list and never received one email. Most people I spoke to never heard of them. Blaming it on location or construction is a big miss.
    Does anybody know how to contact the family?

  25. It has very little to do with location (unless you can’t find parking). Delis’ biggest competition is people’s memories and memories are very hard to reproduce. Additionally, themanager of Katz’s in NY told me that he has made his special pastami recipe all over the country and the same recipe doesn’t re-create in other cities mainly due to water.

  26. Pingback: Why Doesn’t Dallas Support New York-Style Delis? | SideDish