Long-awaited Jewish deli opens in Pawtucket


It’s the deli you’ve been waiting for! After much buzz and a number of setbacks, the long-awaited Maven’s Delicatessen opens Dec. 3.

The space at 727 East Ave., Pawtucket, is decorated in black-and-white with old photos of delis past, gleaming cases and locally made wooden tables. The Jewish deli is a passion project that owner Jason Sugarman has been working on for a long time, and he said he’s thrilled to see it come to fruition.

Sugarman says he and his team will make much of the food in Maven’s kitchen. But for now, those essential deli pickles will come from elsewhere, as he has found a good source and he says they are difficult to make properly. A bowl of half sours, dill pickles and pickled tomatoes will be on every table.

Breakfast features bagels, lox, whitefish and all the accompaniments, as well as egg dishes.

For lunch, there’s corned beef, pastrami, Reubens and many other sandwiches. Dinner entrees include salmon with kasha varnishkes. Sugarman’s grandma’s noodle kugel is also on the menu. And you can wash down your meal with Dr. Brown’s soda. (Eventually, beer and wine will be available.)

Sugarman has partnered with Ben Remick and Jaime D'Oliveira, who is also the culinary director, on the venture. The general manager is Sarah Berman, and Scott Taylor is the executive chef and bakery director.

With a staff numbering in the 50s, the restaurant will be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. weekdays, and until 10 p.m. on weekends. In addition to serving breakfast, lunch and dinner, you can take home your favorite deli breads, bagels and desserts from a counter in the front.

Maven’s kitchen will turn out those bagels and breads, along with the corned beef, pastrami and desserts, including rainbow cookies, black-and-whites, carrot cake and other favorites.

Maven’s seats about 100 people, with another 20 seats for quick service. Eventually, you’ll be able to grab a coffee and a bagel at the counter while you browse through newspapers and comic books.

“We want to be a place you can come for everything,” said Sugarman, who has 20 years of experience in the Rhode Island restaurant business.

According to Maven’s website, mavensdeli.com, “Although we are not ‘certified kosher,’ we are certified delicious!”

FRAN OSTENDORF is the editor of Jewish Rhode Island.

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