common / Restaurants

Village Deli Opens In Nelsonville

Doing Business in Philipstown
By Tim Greco


Tom Allen opened the Village Deli in his property in Nelsonville because he loves to cook. 
Chris Layton Tom Allen opened the Village Deli in his property in Nelsonville because he loves to cook. Chris Layton You’ve heard the expression, “He is nicest guy you ever want to meet.” That’s Nelsonville resident Tom Allen, owner of The Village Deli in Nelsonville.

The Allen family goes back five generations in Philipstown; many still remember Allen Coal Company in Nelsonville. It seems like just a few months ago that Pete’s Hometown Deli closed, after being in business for thirty six years. The Nature Market soon opened, renovated the space and then abruptly closed shop.

Allen has been through all the recent changes because he is the landlord and owns the entire surrounding property. He recalled that he had a hunch that the organic market would not work in the community, with the combination of fast food and organic mix it seemed implausible. Then, after it closed, he and his wife Jackie thought that would be a great idea if Tom would reopen the deli. He loves cooking. And the deli opened, with little fanfare.

Gone are the organic shelves that took up considerable space and in its place more seating, including a spiffy picnic table. “We brought the outdoor in,” observed Allen.

The talk around town is that the food is just incredible. From school kids to contractors, all are counted as happy customers. On the day I visited, I wanted to try the empanadas that everyone was talking about. Sadly, at 2 pm they had completely sold out of this delicious flaky beef cheddar and onion dish. Seventy five in total went out the door, before we arrived. Tom tells me that the best time to grab one is on Fridays but he can’t promise they won’t sell out. They are sold on a first come, first serve basis. And Tom makes them himself.

Michelle McGuire, Chrissy Smith, Christian Bach and Jesús round out the friendly, accommodating staff. McGuire said that everything is made fresh including the hot and hardy soup selection. She wanted to make special mention of the egg sandwiches and that everything is made from scratch. Hungry for a hotdog? The Village Deli carries Sabrett brand hot dogs and Michelle’s homemade Michigan sauce. The staff is always coming up with theme days like seafood day, where they will serve fresh battered flounder and clam chowder, as well as Italian day and Spanish day, with appropriate foods. Although Tom’s wife Jackie doesn’t work at the deli she is also contributing, via her pulled pork sandwiches. And soft pretzels are in easy reach of the counter.

Allen said that, “Every day, every week, business is just getting better and the town needed a deli desperately.”

Allen was born across the street from the family owned property. His parents and uncle started a grocery store and gas station and in 1988 they sold the business to Pete and Mary Jo, who ran the business till last year. Tom is a speed racing fan and has raced cars himself. He and Jackie travel often on the road in their RV. Along with daughters Samantha and Carley, they frequently travel to Daytona Beach Florida.

The Village Deli is open everyday 6 am to 6 pm. Call ahead to find out what the day’s theme is at (845)- 265-2400. You can view the accompanying video at Focus on Philipstown or PCNR.com.

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