Diamond Delicatessen: A cut above the rest

By: Kate Powell

As college students, good food and good food ideas are always a top priority. Luckily for us, downtown Akron houses a variety of restaurants for all tastes.

Recently, I stopped in for lunch at the Diamond Delicatessen on South Main. I was met by an old-school atmosphere where the employees greet their customers by their first names and inquire about their business and family life.

The Deli, which has been under its current ownership for nearly 15 years, strives to make their customer service personal across its vast clientele. Serving anywhere from 200-400 sandwiches a day, the Deli houses a fast-paced atmosphere without being dismissive of its customers.

Open from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, the Diamond Deli serves breakfast sandwiches, lunch and dinner specials. Each sandwich special has a specific name and the employees love to share the stories of how they got them. The Deli has claimed to have the “best corned beef” in Akron; after sampling the Rueben, I must agree. Other favorites include the Zack’s Chicken Salad Sandwich and the Matzo ball soup.

Just about everything in the restaurant is made from scratch daily, which increases the quality and taste of the dishes. Also, the owners make an honest effort to purchase ingredients from local retailers, and nothing is purchased outside of Ohio. With moderate price points and generous portions, their specialized sandwiches range from $5 to $7. They accept most major credit cards as well as the ZipCard, despite the fact it is not advertised in their store window.

The Diamond Deli and The University of Akron go way back. They have provided the University with specials and boxed lunches for the band, sports teams and numerous administrative luncheons and business meetings. Diamond Deli owner Chuck Magilavy admits the University has played a major part in his restaurants success.

“I must extend my gratitude towards the University because it makes up a big part of my business,” Magilavy said.

The Diamond Delicatessen has attracted a vast clientele of which, according to Chuck, about 80 percent is repeat business.

UA senior Mike Rohrbach states that he frequents the Deli simply because “It’s the best.”

Michael Schoenberg, a regular at the Diamond Deli for over five years, says he enjoys the friendly atmosphere and raves “the food is outstanding.” Schoenberg also mentioned that it is his favorite place to hang out because it reminds him of his college days.