The 7th Street Deli just south of St. Mary’s Hospital may soon be forced to close its doors.
The restaurant has been there for 15 years, and has been owned and operated by Debbie Allen and her daughter for the last 8 years. It is woman-owned business and the only restaurant close to the hospital. Their food is damn good and now they might have to close.
On January 5th, the landlord who owns the Medical Arts complex where the deli is located threatened Debbie and her family with eviction by the end of the month for non-payment of rent. The eviction notice comes after the restaurant was faced with a long series of unfortunate events starting in 2018. It has been struggling to come back, and just as business is finally starting to improve again, now this.
How did they get into this position after having so much success for so long?
Back-to-back extended construction projects on 7th Street and then…Covid
First the restaurant endured an extended construction project on 7th Street in the late spring of 2018, but then this was followed quickly by yet another long construction project in 2019, right at the same time of year. These construction projects cut the deli’s business by 50 percent for well over a year. Then Covid hit in 2020 and they were forced to shut down all of their dine-in business. Debbie points out there isn’t any shopping nearby, so they don’t have much business from people walking by. The restaurant is mostly dependent on people who work nearby or are passing by in vehicles. Construction put big dent in vehicular traffic for a long time as people avoided driving on 7th. Just turning into the complex was tough for a long time, too.
They hung in there and stayed open for take-out through the shut-down phase of the pandemic with only Debbie and her daughter working. With little income to work with, they started getting behind in rent, sales tax and vendor payments. But Debbie and her daughter dealt in good faith with the City of Grand Junction and the State Revenue Sales Tax Department to get caught up, and they are currently just 2 months shy of paying back the City completely on an agreement they reached. The next big hurdle is paying their back rent, but the landlord handed them an eviction notice January 5th telling them to vacate or pay their back rent in full within 30 days. Rent is $2,500/month, and Debbie and her family owe a total in back rent of $31,000. Debbie is hoping if they can hand the landlord at least a sizable chunk of that amount before the end of the month, he might have faith they can pay the rest now that business is finally getting back to normal again, and let them stay.
The deli is now in immediate danger of closing.
Locals are trying to help:
Someone set up a GoFundMe account to help raise some fast funds to help save the deli. If you want to help, you can donate to the GoFundMe account here. Or stop by the restaurant and give a donation in person. There’s a jar on the counter for donations. Every little bit helps.
You can also help by stopping by and eating at the deli at 2232 N. 7th Street (open for breakfast and lunch), or call in a take-out order at 970-243-8827. Their menu is here. They deliver free within a mile of the restaurant, and to all downtown G.J. businesses.
“7th Street Deli has been open for over 15 years. We bought the deli in 2014 and have loved being a part of the medical/ business community for the past 8 years. We serve a niche that you just don’t find anywhere else. We are a family-owned and operated business. Our customers have become dear friends and we worry about them when we don’t see their faces for a while. Our food speaks for itself because we strive to make everything we serve fresh, healthy and delicious. Please help us to continue our passion to serve this delicious food to our community.”