10/08/10 — Downtown Deli closes doors in city

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Downtown Deli closes doors in city

By Kenneth Fine
Published in News on October 8, 2010 1:46 PM

Less than a year after popular downtown restaurant Pupetta Bar & Grill closed its doors due, in part, to the economic climate, the city's core has lost another local dining spot.

Downtown Deli is no longer open for business.

But Downtown Goldsboro Develop-ment Corp. executive director Julie Thompson said closures are to be expected -- even in the best of times.

"I expect these casualties when we have the economy we have, and I expect these casualties when we have a perfect economy," she said. "I don't mean to be complacent about it. We're sad it didn't work out, but 50 percent of new businesses close within the first three years.

"A lot of people, when things are tough, like to look around and place blame. And I think every time we have a business lost, we wonder if there is anything else we could've done. But the DGDC is not an economic development office, so we're somewhat limited in our capacity."

So despite the loss of another downtown business -- Karen's Custom Framing also has closed its doors within the last year -- Mrs. Thompson said she and her peers will continue to look toward a future they believe will be a bright one.

And they will work hard to sell potential replacements for Downtown Deli on the benefits they say comes with operating downtown.

"The wonderful thing about downtowns is they provide an opportunity to everybody," she said. "It is actually quite rare to have a designated restaurant space become available and now, we have one."

Part of their pitch will center around the revitalization efforts that have already happened -- and those, like the Center Street streetscape project, that represent the next step in the movement to return downtown Goldsboro to its glory days.

And they will also promote the incentives they have to offer -- the Business Incentive Grant Program provides $400 a month for one year to an upstart business or one that relocates downtown.

But even so, losing the deli, Mrs. Thompson said, will take some getting use to.

"It's always sad to see a business go," she said. "We'll certainly miss it."