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Sarasota deli closes temporarily two days after opening, citing staffing issues

The Original Wolfie's and Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House opened Nov. 2.

  • By Mark Gordon
  • | 2:45 p.m. November 4, 2023
  • | 2 Free Articles Remaining!
The Original Wolfie’s Deli and Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
The Original Wolfie’s Deli and Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House will serve breakfast, lunch and dinner.
Image courtesy of Peter Acker
  • Manatee-Sarasota
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Two days after a much-anticipated opening, a New York-style and Jewish deli in Sarasota has temporarily closed, citing staffing shortages and issues. 

The restaurant, The Original Wolfie's and Wolfie Cohen's Rascal House, issued a statement early Saturday afternoon on the temporary shutdown.

“We have decided to temporarily close our doors in order to welcome more dedicated and passionate staff into our Wolfie's and Rascal House family,” the statement reads. “Our aim is to ensure that every visit is as iconic and seamless as the first.”

A spokesperson for the restaurant told the Business Observer Saturday afternoon that no reopening date has been set. The spokesperson says the first two days of the restaurant, Thursday and Friday, were packed, with waiting lists and lines 30 people deep at some points.

The Original Wolfie’s Deli and its nighttime sister concept, Wolfie Cohen’s Rascal House, are at 1420 Boulevard of the Arts in the Rosemary District, just north of downtown Sarasota. The restaurateur and chef behind the concepts is Sol Shenker, who garnered a devoted following in Sarasota for his New York deli-style food at several different eateries. Shenker has been living in Colorado, where his wife has been attending veterinary school, according to a story on, sister publication of the Business Observer. Shenker previously operated Sol’s NYC Delicatessen in a former Applebee’s in Main Plaza in downtown Sarasota, among other restaurants.

The Original Wolfie's spokesperson says the company plans to start advertising for employees on social media immediately. “We're excited to welcome new faces to our team, train them in the art of delivering the highest quality deli experience, and make improvements to our service,” the statement reads. “We appreciate your understanding during this brief pause, and we can't wait to welcome you back soon.”



Mark Gordon

Mark Gordon is the managing editor of the Business Observer. He has worked for the Business Observer since 2005. He previously worked for newspapers and magazines in upstate New York, suburban Philadelphia and Jacksonville.

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