Stephen’s Delicatessen (1000 E 16th Street), the longstanding New York style deli that first opened in Hialeah in 1954, reopens today with new owners, a revamped menu, and a nod to its 50s era roots.
Matt “Kush” Kuscher of Kush Hospitality Group — the owner of LoKal, Kush, Spillover and Vicky’s House — has taken over the eatery putting his own touch on the restaurant, which has had many owners over its multi-decade lifespan. On the revamped menu are dishes like “bubbie’s” matzoh ball soup; NY style deli sandwiches; Kush Hospitality’s popular chicken and waffles, made-to-order egg salad sandwiches and latkes. LoKal’s popular key lime pie makes an appearance on the menu, along with new desserts like the Hialeah Bars made with a sugar cookie with shaved coconut, chocolate chips, granola and walnuts; and the deli must-have, the NY Egg Cream.
Keeping with the history of the restaurant, both the sliced smoked meats and the person who’s been slicing them for more than 60 years, Henderson “Junior” Biggers, has remained part of the new team. Stephen’s Deli was Biggers’ first job in 1957, and now he has a dedicated carving area near the front of the restaurant called “Junior’s Station” where guests can see him slicing the pastrami and corned beef to order.
“The deli culture is dying in this country and especially in Miami,” says Kuscher. “Here is one that’s been doing the same thing for 60 plus years and was about to go away. As a lover of this place and a lover of delis, I’m so proud to help bring it back stronger than before.”
Kuscher remains committed to keeping Stephen’s Deli as close to its glory days mixed with trinkets from his upbringing. The original signage frames the entrance, while his family photos decorate the walls of Stephen’s Deli, like his dad’s bar mitzvah and his grandfather’s wedding day. The menu is designed to be an exact duplicate of the menu at The Plantation Nook, Kuscher’s grandfather’s deli that burned down years ago in Plantation, with a saved original of the menu is on display.
Later this summer the team plans to open and adjacent cocktail bar called La Cocina, which will be accessible from Stephen’s Deli. Stephen’s Deli is now open daily from 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. For more information call 305-887-8863.