Saturday, November 2, 2019

Wally's Kosher Deli in the Milk Pail, Lincolnwood, Illinois.

I fondly remember working part-time after High School for "Wally's Deli" in the Milk Pail on Devon Avenue just west of McCormick in Lincolnwood, Illinois.
Wally Brin owned the Deli from 1970 until 1986, when he retired and his son Steve took control.
 
Wally passed away in 1988 and Steve renamed the business, "Wally’s Milk Pail and Deli." With a new partner, Harry Friedman, Steve turned the establishment into a strictly-kosher deli and grocery store.

Steve starting working there in high school in 1970 and worked there until he sold the business in 1999. Steve said, "It broke my heart when we sold this business, but many things change regardless of what you do to make improvements."

I worked part-time after High School for Wally's Deli in the Milk Pail, which was 5 blocks from my house, for 4 years, most nights but some weekend opens too.

It was a great job and great pay, especially for a high school student. Wally and Steve were nice people to work for. We cooked the best brisket corned beef around, 15 at a time in the back room of the deli. 

We were allowed to eat anything we wanted from the deli for free, except for the Lox and Smoked Chubs (fish), which I ate nearly every night for 4 years. They knew!

Rosens Rye Bread was delivered into a locked box in the back of the building, every morning around 4 o'clock. They were so hot, you needed gloves to handle the loaves. Chopped chicken liver was another customer favorite, along with their meat, cheese, or fish Lazy Susan Trays, many tray orders were for 4 or more trays. 

Two summers in a row, Wally found me a part-time day job with one of his restauranteur friends. One was a fast-pace breakfast and lunch restaurant downtown which had a deli/sandwich counter. Another job was with the "Bagle Nosh" which was on Rush Street. 

Wally was always upbeat and treated everybody kindly. You knew he was genuine because Steve was just like his Dad.

Not to be confused with the Milk Pail Restaurant in Dundee, Illinois.

By Neil Gale, Ph.D.

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