SAN JOSE, Calif. - An iconic San Jose deli is set to shut its doors permanently this weekend. The decision comes after a lawsuit left the owner with no other options. For generations, culinary creations from Time Deli have pleased South Bay palates.
"I used to come with my dad for many years. We'd come and get lunch all the time," said Patrice Panzica, a regular patron since childhood.
Sadly, "time" is not on the side of the 67 year old business. The doors close permanently on Saturday.
"It's gonna hurt us. Not financially but just we've seen the customers for a long time. I mean I have customers everyday that come here and eat," said time deli owner Donald Bergh.
The first brick in this type of brand loyalty was laid in 1950. Back when the community newspaper hailed time deli and it's "new method of merchandising foodstuffs."
But this mom-and-pop businesses ran into trouble for failing to adhere to laws designed to protect the disabled.
"Several months ago, the deli's owner was sued by a Sacramento area lawyer for violations related to the Americans With Disabilities Act or ADA. That attorney has sued 39 other small businesses in the East Bay and South Bay. In this case, the owner settled. But bringing this building, built in 1949, up to code proved too costly.
"They have to change the law. They just do. It's hurting me, and it's not only hurting me it'll hurt other businesses," said Bergh as he continued his daily routine of quality control.
Legislative relief stalled in Sacramento and wouldn't have arrived in time anyway. So, Donald Bergh and his customers are posing for pictures and preparing for life after time runs out for getting their favorite sandwich.
We asked one man where he would get his tri-tip sandwich now?
"I don't know yet. This is where I come. So yeah, this is gonna be sad," said long-time customer Tommy Sablan.
Bergh promises the catering aspect of the business will live on, and the possibility of service from a food truck, but the comfort generations have come to know inside these doors ends after lunch Saturday.