Shalom Life | March 27, 2015

Toronto's Iconic Pancer’s Deli To Reopen

The deli, which was sold five years ago and closed earlier this year, is back in Pancer's hands and won’t be leaving them any time soon

By: Caitlin Marceau

Published: March 26th, 2015 in Business » World

Photo: Lorne Pancer showing off a deli sandwich


If you’ve ever had a sandwich from Moe Pancer’s Deli in North York, then you know how much of a tragedy it was then the deli was sold almost five years ago, and closed down earlier this year.

The deli, which had remained open for 57 years, was sold by the Pancer family to the Lenny Gould, a Vancouver restaurant owner, following a death in their family.

However, much to the joy of Torontonians, the deli is reopening in its previous Bathurst Street location on Friday. The restaurant became famous in the North York area for their corned beef cooked in a secret blend of spices and served with Silverstein’s Bakery bread hot at the ready.

“Driving by it every day tugged on our heartstrings,” Lorne Pancer said, as reported by The Toronto Star. “It drove me crazy so our family had a meeting with the landlord and are opening it back up.”

Pancer’s first opened in April of ‘57, with father and son duo Moe Pancer, and Stan Pancer, running the joint. The restaurant was then passed down to Stan’s two sons, Lorne and Michael, who will be running the place together, along with some of their first cousins. Julian, Moe’s 28 year-old grandson, will also be working in the kitchen. A former chef at the Trump Tower’s Stock restaurant, he’s introduced some new additions to the deli including a breakfast menu, vegan, casing-free kishka, and homemade potato latkes.

“Customers would walk in and he would yell across the counter, ‘How are you? Sit down!’” explained Lorne, recalling his grandfather’s famous lines said behind the stainless steel counter, where he’d stand and smile while smoking a cigar.

And it’s not just the Toronto community who’s excited about Pancer’s Deli reopening. The deli’s been getting calls from people around the world to congratulate them on their reopening. They also have celebrity support, with Toronto Maple Leaf Eddie Shack just one of the many people waiting for them to open.

“They were all angry at us when we closed it, but now it is like the phoenix has risen,” continued Lorne, who signed the lease for the building on February 16th. The place has since been repainted and a massive chalkboard installed behind the counter.

“You won’t find loyalty like that elsewhere,” said Lorne who also added that the deli “will never leave Pancer hand again.”

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