The space at 2701 Atwood Ave., formerly Africana, is slated to become a "New York-style neighborhood deli" called Stalzy's Deli.
Corbin Reynolds and Neil Stalboerger, neighbors on nearby South Marquette Street, are behind the eatery. The idea grew out of a trip to New York City that Stalboerger took a few years back. A meal at Katz's Delicatessen sparked "an obsession with pastrami," says Stalboerger. "I was just craving the pastrami I'd had in New York." When the Africana space opened up, "one thing led to another."
Stalboerger, who's been in the restaurant business for 20 years and has stints as sous chef at Lombardino's and Sardine under his belt, will be making his own pastrami and corned beef for Stalzy's and using fresh baked breads and other local, Wisconsin products. Other specialty items will be imported, but the deli will concentrate on from-scratch cooking.
Stalboerger is also lending his name to the deli: "'Stalzy' is just one of the many nicknames I've picked up over the years. It had a good ring to it."
The renovations to the site are mostly cosmetic, to the dining area, he says, and "keeping in mind these things always take longer than you think," he's also shooting for "spring" for opening.