After a lifetime in the deli business, Maurice Solomon is eschewing club sandwiches for a different kind of club: retirement. The smiling face perennially seen behind a Westside/Santa Monica deli counter for over 60 years (Marjan’s in the Brentwood Country Mart, then Fromin’s Deli) is hanging up his apron for good and wants to celebrate the occasion with friends, regulars, and anyone who has ever appreciated a meal from him.
On Tuesday, August 14 from 3 – 4:30 p.m., Solomon and family will celebrate his retirement at Fromin’s, the deli restaurant he spent the last 28 years of his life at. Finger foods and baked goods from Solomon’s daughter will be served at the event as the 80-year-old retiree looks to celebrate and bask in the shop one more time before bidding his longtime employment at the deli adieu.
Dennis Fromin, co-owner and namesake of Fromin’s, will carry the Fromin’s torch from Solomon’s long tenure.
“After 68 years in the deli business, I felt now is the time to enjoy life outside of the deli, spend time with family and relax,” Solomon said.
After working almost every day for those 68 years, Solomon says his post-deli plans in life include spending more time with his family (especially his new great-granddaughter), volunteering, and playing a little golf. His family, of course, is ecstatic to have the “The Deli King” (he has the license plate to prove it) around more often.
“I am extremely proud of my grandfather for retiring after so many incredible years as The Deli King,” Melanie Shaevel, one of Solomon’s granddaughters and organizers of his retirement event said. “His happiness and health are most important to me. All of his friends and family are of course sad to see this chapter of his life come to an end, but we are all happy for him to begin a very well-deserved, relaxing retirement.”
Reminiscing on his time at Fromin’s, Solomon says some of his favorite memories at the deli were forming friendships with loyal customers, some of which included famous faces. Solomon says when he first started out in the deli business, he first served Cary Grant (!) and has since made sandwiches and exchanged words regularly with the likes of Al Pacino, Adam Sandler and Dustin Hoffman, to name a few.
Brushes with actors aside, Solomon says it’s his family and friends who truly mattered most in his time working on the Westside.
He details the joy of a lifetime in the business, seeing his daughter and granddaughter work side by side in the shop as well as seeing coworkers get hired as kids and now as he leaves the shop, they have kids of their own.
“It’s a true family business,” he said.
Just as storied as his time at the deli is Solomon’s life. The cliff notes version shared with the Daily Press has a 9-year-old Solomon escaping occupied Belgium during World War II, he and his family eventually migrating to Cleveland, Ohio. A few years later at the age of 12, Solomon began working behind a deli counter, giving nearly all of his earnings to his parents to help support them and his family.
Now, in retirement, his family can support him– Maurice Solomon, the Deli King.
Maurice Solomon’s retirement celebration will take place Tuesday, August 14 from 3 p.m. – 4:30 p.m. at Fromin’s Deli, 1832 Wilshire Blvd.