comScore

Reviving an old-school deli in northeast Minneapolis -- with Kickstarter help

Delmonico's Italian deli and meat market in NE Minneapolis will get a new lease on life as Jessi's Market.

Delmonico's Italian deli and meat market in NE Minneapolis will get a new lease on life as Jessi's Market. Star Tribune/Marlin Levison

We wrote about Jessi Rivera last year when we noticed that she was diligently doing work on the old Delmonico’s Italian Deli space in Northeast.

By some act of kismet, she walked into the local institution one day and told third-generation owners Bob and Terry Delmonico: "I've been dreaming my whole life of opening a place just like this! And they said, 'We've been dreaming of someone just like you to come and buy it.'" And just like that, Delmonico's 2.0 was born.

Well, sort of. Rivera had hoped to reopen the deli by summer of last year (this time with a Puerto Rican twist, in honor of her own background and cooking style), but it’s been slow going.

She's run into unexpected stumbling blocks, and she needs money. The campaign goal is $100,000, mostly earmarked to get the building up to code, with plumbing, flooring, equipment, and structural issues that need to be updated to re-obtain the business licenses to open and operate.

According to Rivera, the code issues were a complete surprise to her when she purchased the building over a year ago.

“This was completely unexpected. I thought I had done my homework by contacting the city to see if there were any outstanding work orders I should be aware of and if I would have any troubles opening. I was told they had a clean bill and wasn't warned of what would happen once the transfer was made. I moved forward with the purchase. Sadly when I applied for the licenses I was denied.”

She adds that she’s done much of the necessary work herself, but now she needs to bring in the pros.

Once she’s able to open, Rivera envisions a fresh local and imported deli featuring small-store convenience with old-school, friendly neighborhood service. (And yes, with a Puerto Rican flair.)

1112 Summer St. NE, Minneapolis
Contribute to the campaign here.