Wilkes Delicatessen has been around since 1969 in Glen Rock, one of the anchors of the downtown district on Rock Road. Through the years it has changed hands from one member of the Wilkes family to another. The tradition goes that it has to be handed down to someone related to the Wilkes, which can include long-time employees who have shown their dedication and love for the business. This year, the Glen Rock store is being passed along to long time friends Miguel and Jesus Almazan, who is the owner of the Wilkes Deli in Oakland, N.J.
Jesus has 25 years in the deli business including 15 at Wilkes in Oakland, the last six of those years as an owner. His right hand man, Leo Almazan, almost 20 years as a culinary wiz, creates tantalizing specials and every day Wilkes specials made with homemade touches.
Wilkes is known for several staple foods. These include potato salad, macaroni salad and Sloppy Joe sandwiches (Jersey style) to just name a few.
Jesus Almazan assured BTN that he going to keep the Wilkes traditions its longtime customers love. But he also intends to start his own traditions. One of the things he believes is that his employees are part of the family, and he will have his employees create daily specials and long term specials that appear on the menu.
He also listens to his customers’ suggestions. One example of this is a new menu item right from Hamburg, N.Y. (Western New York, near Buffalo) called Julie’s Special Sandwich — thick, fried bologna with carmelized onions and Mozzarella cheese on an onion roll.
In addition to different specials and menu items, the Almazans are bringing back newspapers for sale, delivery service, and much more.
They are hosting a Grand Opening celebration on May 8th. Rockers, please go give the new owners of Wilkes Deli a warm GR welcome and tell them that BTN sent you.