Ben Poremba planning new Jewish deli for spring ’23

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Ellen Futterman, Editor-in-Chief

Last week at a Federation event, I moderated a panel that consisted of five local Jewish restaurateurs, including Israeli native Ben Poremba, owner and chef of Bengelina Hospitality Group (Elaia, Ol io, Nixta, The Benevolent King and more).

When asked what type of cuisine was missing from the local food scene, Poremba quickly responded “a deli.” As it turns out, in this month’s edition of the Delmar DivINe newsletter, Poremba talks about his plan to open Deli DivINe, in the former St. Luke’s Hospital on Delmar Boulevard, now the site of Delmar DivINe, started by Jewish entrepreneur Maxine Clark as a hub for nonprofits.

Part of the reason for Poremba locating the deli there is to pay homage to the strong Jewish presence in the north St. Louis neighborhood early in the 20th century.

“A Jewish-style deli to preserve the legacy of my ancestors and to bring comfort and nourishment to the community around it,” Poremba said in the newsletter. “What’s more comforting than a matzah ball soup, or ‘Jewish penicillin’ as we call it?”

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Among the items on the planned menu are handcrafted pastrami and corned beef, babka, bagels and lox, and Poremba’s grandma’s famous egg salad. The deli will feature a small market for take-out purchases. Poremba says while there is still much to be planned, he expects the deli to open in spring 2023.