Izzy & Mo's Lunheonette opening soon ... for real

Nicholas Dekker, Columbus Alive contributor

A new Jewish deli is coming to town. Izzy & Mo's Luncheonette, created by Till Dynamic Fare owners Magdiale Wolmark and Cristin Austin, is set to debut soon in the space next door to Till, located at 247 King Ave., Victorian Village.It's been said before, but Wolmark's confident this time is different.

"I can comfortably say it's very, very close," Wolmark said. "It's been a character-building exercise for us. We flipped Till in a month [from its previous version Dragonfly]. Restaurants are like a baby - some are easy, and some are troublesome."

Izzy & Mo's takes its inspiration from Wolmark's culinary upbringing.

"It's a revisiting of my heritage," he said. "I grew up in a culturally rich Jewish family. I grew up on the kinds of foods I'll be serving at Izzy & Mo's. As a chef I had never gone down that path, doing the extensive research into the history of the menu items and their origins."

Wolmark said both construction and culinary research extended the project past its initial opening date.

"Part of the slow process of opening the place is making sure the items we're serving are authentic to the best of our knowledge," he said.

"Our deli breakfast program will be based on the three fundamentals of Jewish breakfast: bagels, blintzes and babka," Wolmark said.

He's developing three types of bagels: a traditional East Coast water bagel, a Middle Eastern style closer in shape to a pretzel stick and a bialy-style that's similar to focaccia bread. Breakfast is also rounded out by blintzes, small crepe-like pastries that are folded over fillings and fried butter. Finally, he'll serve versions of babka, a sweet yeast cake. Breakfast will be complemented by fresh-squeezed juices and Thunderkiss coffee.

Wolmark also notes that Izzy & Mo's has a full liquor license, and he plans to offer an early morning happy hour from 7-9 a.m.

"I was inspired by a place I was saw in Philly with a sign that said 'happy hour 7 a.m. to 9 a.m.' They offered a shot and a beer for $1," he said.

Wolmark plans to offer a similar "early morning alcoholic tonic."

Lunch will also feature deli classics like sandwiches with hot pastrami and corned beef. Drinks will include wine by the glass, local beers, plus housemade sodas and fruit schnapps. Wolmark is working with North High Brewing to develop a canned root beer.

Wolmark calls the deli "kosher-style," meaning it's not certified kosher, but he said he's offering some "contemporary, chef-driven interpretations of Jewish classics."

Izzy & Mo's will seat around 20, plus a patio, and offer counter service. Wolmark plans to soft open with weekday breakfast and lunch hours, then hopefully expand to being open 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. seven days a week.

Nicholas Dekker writes about breakfast at breakfastwithnick.com and authored the guidebook "Breakfast With Nick: Columbus," with a second edition coming in 2015. He leads breakfast and brunch tours for Columbus Food Adventures and brewery tours for Columbus Brew Adventures.