Junior’s Delicatessen I

What?  Why does this list of defunct eateries include Junior’s, a deli located on Westwood Boulevard near Pico which is still operating, still one of the busiest dining establishments on the West Side?  [UPDATE: As explained here, the Junior’s on Westwood closed 12/31/12.]

Because we’re remembering the original Junior’s, which was located a few blocks away on Pico, in a building which is now Maria’s Italian Kitchen.  (It was a couple of different dining establishments between the time it was Junior’s and when it became Maria’s.  For a long time, it was an outlet of Damiano’s, aka Mr. Pizza, and it was very good.  So was the Damiano’s on Robertson, just south of Pico, which isn’t there any more.  The only remaining Damiano’s — for those who want their Italian food as much like “New York style” as possible out here — is over on Fairfax, across from Canter’s.)

The original Junior’s was a two-man operation, owned and run by Marvin Saul and his brother.  Marvin can still be seen often around the current Junior’s, wandering about and asking people if they’re enjoying their corned beef.  Once upon a time, he and his brother were cutting the corned beef.  And the lox and the salami.  It was the friendliest of delis because they seemed to remember every customer (by name, if possible) and they were always throwing in little freebees.  If you ordered and paid for a half-pound of roast beef, they tossed in an extra ounce or two.

On the counter was a little container of shtickels.  A shtickel is like a miniature salami…big enough for two or three bites.  They cost ten cents apiece in the mid-sixties and a hand-lettered sign on the bin said, “It used to be a nickel a shtickel…now it’s a dime, ain’t it a crime?”  Whenever I went into Junior’s with my mother, one of the Saul brothers would treat me to a free shtickel.

Most of their business was Take Out but there were a couple of tables there and if you ordered a sandwich, one of the Sauls would make it, bring it to you at a table and make sure you had silverware, water, etc.  The food was very good and they did a good business, so I guess it didn’t surprise anyone when they bought the larger building on Westwood, moved over there and began expanding.  Eventually, they bought out their neighbors, knocked out walls and had a huge delicatessen with a large staff and a superb on-premises bakery.

The food there is generally pretty good but I miss the personal service and friendliness of the old place.  And I really miss the shtickels.

12 Responses to Junior’s Delicatessen I

  • Felicia Thiel says:

    In 1962, when I was 8 years old, we moved to what was then “LA 34” on Bagley Avenue. We were the only Catholishers in that predominately Jewish neighborhood and I learned a lot of Yiddish the year we lived there, but my favorite memory is of the food. I loved going with my parents and our neighbor, Rose Cohen, to Junior’s, where I remember my mother usually ordered matzo ball soup and a rare roast beef sandwich and I could wait for my pastrami sandwich to arrive at the table. We moved to the Valley in 1965, but we still went “over the hill” to Junior’s. Our thanks to the Saul family for so many memories and hundreds of delicious meals. Junior’s has not been forgotten!

  • Bonnie Anthony says:

    I am Bonnie Saul “Anthony”. My wonderful father, Eddie Saul, passed away in March 2018. He would have been so proud and touched by everyone’s comments and complements. And, yes, he was a really nice guy. His greatest pleasure was having satisfied and happy customers. Thank you all, for remembering both Junior’s and Eddie Saul’s restaurants! Much appreciated!

  • Eric Axelbaum says:

    well louis shoenfeld. I am friends with the owner’s daughter now and she is still beautiful and smart.


    Reply to Mark Kraus: Yes Went To Eddie Sauls Alot As A Kid with My Mom For Breakfast Still Remember Having The Best Sausage Links Breakfast

  • Robi Tatkin says:

    I remember Eddie Saul’s Deli in Encino on Ventura Blvd! My dad worked nearby and would go there nearly every day for breakfast with his pals. Pickles on the table, good memories.

  • Ron Fernberg says:

    I worked for Junior’s, #1. @ age 19 and Eddie Saul was the nicest guy ever! Learned the Deli from Eddie & his brother Marvin Saul, saw him 2010.

  • CW says:

    Before this location became a deli, it was a Curries ice cream parlor.

  • Ike Saul says:

    I remember very well, he was my first cousin,we came from Atlantic city. I was so distraught when I read he had passed and the sons lost the business. I think his brother Eddie lives near me in miami,we weren’t as close as Marvin and I. I miss him dearly, I hope juniors makes a come back for Marvin. R.i.p.

  • Louis Schonfeld says:

    I remember going there once because I was friendly for a short while with the owner’s daughter and she brought me there to meet her father. Boy, was she the cutest girl and very bright as well. For whatever reason that relationship lasted only a short time and more than forty years ago.

  • Mark Kraus says:

    Anyone recall Eddie Saul’s on Ventra in Encino?

  • Jed Gould says:

    Juniors Deli on Westwood closed December 31, 2012. Property owner was asking too much; Juniors would have to be charging $15.00 per sandwich to make ends meet.

    I went there the weekend before it closed. The food quality had diminished substantially. Supposedly they are pursuing opening another location elsewhere in LA County.

  • Marty says:

    Well we can now bid farewell to Junior’s which closed on New Year’s Eve 2012. Of the delis that dot the Los Angeles landscape this was certainly one of the better ones that also had a consistently good bakery.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Recent Comments