Portland’s West End Deli for sale, any takers?


Nancy Arnold, right, wants you to buy her deli.

Income property for sale: Must like pickles and be handy with pastrami under pressure. After 10 years at the helm of Portland’s West End Deli, Nancy Arnold is calling it quits. “I am tired,” the 72-year-old owner said Wednesday in the middle of her umpteenth lunch rush. “This is my fourth business,” she said with a guttural roar. “My kids think I am crazy.”

The sandwich shop with a few fast-grab items, wine and beer, moved from Spring Street to Congress Street a year ago to make way for Bao Bao Dumpling House. Located directly across from Reny’s and a grinder’s toss from Maine College of Art, the concept would seem like a slam dunk. “The first year was horrific,” said Arnold.

But surely as crocuses are thrusting through the icy earth, things are turning around. In the past year, “my kitchen business has doubled,” said Arnold, who despite deciding to sell in October, shows no signs of winding down with a whimper.


Next week the deli opens early (10 a.m.) for lox and bagels and new coffee offerings like cappuccino. Why all the upgrades as an ad on CraigsList advertises the biz for $85,000 turnkey?

The serial entrepreneur knows no other way. “It’s an up and growing business and neighborhood, it’s got potential,” said Arnold. “You always try new things and test as you go.”

Included in the sale is kitchen equipment, outdoor and indoor seating, and wine and cold beverage storage. Inventory isn’t part of the deal.

“It’s a great business for a young couple, a single person,” or anyone who wants a pierce of Portland’s thriving food scene.

Though Full Belly Deli is staking its ground in the Old Port this spring, Portland is not a one hoogie town. Located near the Higher Concept Glass Gallery, there must be a slew of passersby with the munchies.



Kathleen Pierce

About Kathleen Pierce

A lifelong journalist with a deep curiosity for what's next. Interested in food, culture, trends and the thrill of a good scoop. BDN features reporter based in Portland since 2013.