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Popular Saranac Lake deli closing and transitioning to catering service

 Lakeview Deli sign
Village of Saranac Lake
Lakeview Deli sign

A popular deli in Saranac Lake is closing after nearly four decades and even folks outside of the village are lamenting its loss.

“It has that old Mom-and-Pop deli feel.” Scott Elliot lived in Saranac Lake for about three years and often ate at Lakeview Deli. He now lives in Plattsburgh.

“It was a stop every year when we went for Winter Carnival and then since I worked right there in town occasionally for lunch if I didn’t bring my own. I know that they’re doing the catering thing and they’re going to kind of still be around but just the thought of being able to go in there at lunchtime or during Winter Carnival and grab a sandwich and grab the button for Winter Carnival. That just kind of stinks.”

A perennial favorite and town hub, Lakeview Deli has been run by the same family, the Van Andens, for 37 years. Customers could custom order any sandwich imaginable or pick from the menu of standards, Lakeview signature dishes, or daily specials. The salads, soups, quiche, and coffee are sure to be missed by residents and regular visitors.

Saranac Lake Mayor Jimmy Williams calls it one of the “crown jewels” of the village.

“Certain places just stand out and Lakeview Deli has always stood out. The Van Anden family in its entirety is a very special, generous and some of the hardest working folks that I’ve ever crossed paths with. And so I think people gravitate towards that. As well as amazing food. There’s a line out the place daily. As I said before great food, hard-working, really nice and generous local folks who do a lot for the community. And so it’s been a favorite spot for a long time.”

On Wednesday, the family that owns the deli announced that it is closing the deli and transitioning to a catering business. Catering Manager Katy Van Anden explains the family had long considered it and the final decision was influenced by their experience with COVID.

“This has been something that has been kind of in our minds for years and years and years. And then when we actually shut down the inside of the deli during COVID and started doing window service only basically we took over the whole front section of the deli for prep space so that we could put out the amount of catering that was coming out of the deli at that time. Then the restrictions all went away and we were like ‘well we can’t give this space back.’ Like we have to keep it because we have so many jobs booked. So we started to think about the transition. And then really the staff situation has gotten so difficult and so we thought you know what? This is the time.”

Lakeview Deli will open for the last time on Friday from 10 until 6 to thank customers and past employees.