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A Newark Institution

I have decided it's time to start updating this blog more regularly. This summer has been filled with awesome experiences that are just too much fun to wait to share until the episodes are released. I'll be writing about some other great experiences we've had soon, like our trip to Atlantic City, exploring some amazing Cuban food in Union City, learning about New Jersey wine at Cedar Rose Vineyard in Millville, and more, but for now we're going to go with the one that's the freshest in my mind, our trip to Hobby's Delicatessen in Newark.

There has been a deli at 32 Branford Place in Newark at least since 1910, according to Michael & Marc Brummer, the current owners. Their father, Sam Brummer, purchased the deli back in 1962 and it has been in their family ever since. After escaping Poland on one of the last ships out in 1939 before Hitler & Nazi Germany invaded, Sam immigrated to the United States and started working in delis almost immediately. Eventually he returned to Europe as part of the D-Day Invasion at the Battle of Normandy which in of itself is an incredible story.

After returning home from the war, Sam continued working, but knew he needed to do more to support his family. So, in 1962 he purchased Hobby's which at the time was a struggling business, injected his own expertise and experience and quickly turned it into one of the most popular spots in the city.

Now, for those who know, 1962 was an interesting time in Newark. Just five years later the Newark Riots would break out and the landscape, both figuratively and literally, of Brick City would change. Through it all however, the Brummer's and Hobby's have maintained their presence and dug in even more to what makes the city so great.

Despite being a seemingly small, local delicatessen, Hobby's has a significant presence not just in Newark or New Jersey, but both nationally and internationally. They are frequently involved in local charities, giving to the New Jersey Devils Youth Program and the NJPAC Arts Education program as part of national Delicatessen Month (where 10% of any rueben you purchase goes to this programs) as well as spearheading the insanely popular Operation Salami Drop which sent salamis to US troops overseas.

Hobby's Delicatessen, to me, goes well beyond just being an institution in Newark, it literally IS Newark. Obviously it's longevity speaks to the quality of what comes out of the kitchen, but when you really start to dig into the story and the timeline you start to realize how deeply embedded in the community both the Brummer's and Hobby's are. While many fled after 1967, they stayed and have built a place that serves EVERY member of the community. Whether it's the head of a large corporation or a US Senator, a longtime Newark resident or a simple podcaster like myself, everyone feels like they belong.

Crisi & I had:

Corned Beef Reuben

Turkey Club

Poutine Fries

Potato Pancakes

Our episode with Michael & Marc Brummer, owners of Hobby's Delicatessen, will post on September 26, 2023

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