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Q&A: What happened to Bubbie’s Love Deli in Citrus Heights?

Bubbie's Love Deli, Citrus Heights, Kosher-style
Bubbie’s Love Deli & Catering, formerly located at the corner of Antelope Road and Sunrise Boulevard in Citrus Heights. // CH Sentinel

Sentinel staff report–
A once-popular deli in Citrus Heights offering an array of kosher-style menu items rare in the Sacramento region closed its doors several months ago and was replaced by a burger restaurant in May.

Located at the busy corner of Antelope Road and Sunrise Boulevard, Bubbie’s Love Deli & Catering filled a void in the region — reportedly being the only kosher-style restaurant in the Sacramento region, after Sam’s Kosher Style Restaurant and Deli in Fair Oaks closed in 2014. Bubbie’s earned an impressive 4.5-out-of-5 stars rating from more than 300 reviewers on Yelp, with popular dishes including cheese blintzes, corned beef hash, falafel, and matzo breaded chicken strips.

But earlier this year, a hand-written notice could be seen taped on the window, reading, “Due to unfortunate circumstances, we are out of business. We will miss you all!” Next to it, a 3-day notice to “pay rent or quit” was observed, listing several months of back-owed rent at $1300 per month, plus an additional $550 per month in triple-net lease payments overdue.

So what happened? With a loyal following and little-to-no competition, why did Bubbie’s close its doors?

Although the restaurant’s phone line has since been disconnected, the deli’s Facebook page provides some answers.

On Nov. 12 of last year, the restaurant’s owner, Stacie Shoob-Allen, made the first announcement of plans to close the deli, stating, “It’s with a heavy heart that we announce our closing.” In response to a question on Facebook about why the restaurant was closing, she cited “increasing rents, taxes, minimum wages, and the market will not support increasing our pricing,” as the reason for the closure. Additionally, Shoob-Allen said “All the fast food joints have $5 combos and we can’t compete with THAT.”

The following month, on Dec. 8, she shared additional details about the closure and left some parting words for her customers.

“For all of you that have been wondering what happened, thank you for your kind words and years of support. The truth of the matter is a change in our economy. Our business had dropped off dramatically (40%) in the past year. As much as I loved doing what I did and you all as loyal followers and customers, I could no longer sustain that kind of loss.”

Shoob-Allen also said she would be moving to Tennessee in 2018 and was “eagerly looking forward to a new chapter” in her life.

Customers bemoaned the closure, with one stating on Facebook, “Not only is the entire Sacramento area without a kosher restaurant, we don’t even have one that is kosher style. Very sad indeed. I can’t help thinking that a better location with more exposure and easier access would have made a big difference.”

Since the closure, however, a new Jewish deli has opened in Davis, Solomon’s Delicatessen, which also has plans to open another location in downtown Sacramento. The Davis location opened earlier this month, and the Sacramento location was slated to open last year, although it is still yet to open.

The former Bubbie’s restaurant at 7800 Sunrise Blvd., Suite 11, has since been taken over by Hamre’s Giant Orange, a burgers-and-fries restaurant that moved from its original location in Arden-Arcade.

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