CLEVELAND — A staple in Cleveland’s Slavic Village neighborhood will soon be closing its doors for good.
Seven Roses Polish Deli has been around for nearly 17 years and is shutting down on Sunday.
Owner Sophie Tyl plans to retire and said the business is having a tough time dealing with increasing crime and the coronavirus pandemic.
Those issues were the focus of a New York Times article published in early January titled: Gunfire and Crashing Cars: In Struggling Neighbors, 'We're Losing Our Grip.'
“The business is not good, the neighborhood, people afraid of coming. And the coronavirus is a little bit hard sometimes,” Tyl said.
The news is bittersweet for longtime customers who love Tyl’s traditional Polish dishes, like potato pancakes and chicken soup.
“I was very sad. I hated to see it go. But I know it's time for her, she wants to be able to relax,” Diane Ponikvar said.
“We’re all feeling bad that she’s retiring, but she deserves it, she deserves it to relax and not to worry about anything,” Jadwiga Kalinowski said.
Those who only recently discovered Seven Roses are also feeling sad about the closure.
“I didn't even know the restaurant existed until about less than two months ago,” said Dave Barefield, a recent customer of Seven Roses. “We met the owner and fell in love.”
Barefield said he almost immediately connected with Tyl and the comfort food she cooks straight from the heart.
“She enjoys what she does. You can tell. You can tell by her cooking. You can tell when she comes out and brings you another dish,” Barefield said.
And now as Tyl serves up her last couple of meals at Seven Roses, Barefield said the closure will leave behind a void that will never be filled.
“I feel like when they close, you'll never get that type of food or atmosphere back. It's an old-time atmosphere, I call it, and I'm going to miss it,” Barefield said.
Seven Roses Polish Deli closes for the last time at 6 p.m. Sunday, Jan. 31.
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