Local lunch spot up for sale in East Syracuse

A local lunch spot up for sale in East Syracuse

A local hot spot is up for sale and neighbors want to know why they have to say goodbye after nearly 40 years of business.

For the owner, the answer was tough but made the most sense, with no one to pass on the family business to, he needs to give it up.

"Oh my God it's my life, it's my baby," Wayne Cunningham, owner of The Village Deli said. "I started here without an idea of making it into a full time business. It was just going to be a little sandwich shop."

One big risk and forty years later, Cunningham opened The Village Deli in East Syracuse back in 1977.

"I gave up a 401K, paid holidays, paid vacations, sick pay, everything, to come in here and I haven't regretted it a day," Cunningham added.

All these years later, it's still a go-to spot for people looking to grab a bite to eat.

"It was one of those things where you go 'wow,' it's just one of the staples. You go to work and you come here it's just what you do," Patrick Thompson, a regular customer at the Village Deli said.

Cunningham has invested his time and money to transform the shop into what it is today.

But sadly, it's up for sale. At 72-years-old, he's ready to slow down.

"I've gotten several people really interested in doing something here. I would like to see them keep it as the Village Deli and run it as I have," Cunningham explained.

Each day, dozens of customers come in and out, like Patrick Thompson.

He stops in almost three times a week with his buddies.

He hopes the next owner will continue what Cunningham started.

"If they can keep the food the same that would be great, with the same happy atmosphere that would be ideal for us," Thompson said.

Cunningham says what he'll miss most of all are his customers.

"I've not only gotten to know my customers but I have become friends with many of them and that's probably what I'm going to miss the most of it, it's really my social life," Cunningham said.

Saying goodbye to a place best known for its giant turkey sandwich, slathered in cranberry sauce and that all too familiar delicious dressing.

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