60 years in North York
Iconic old school deli may have the city’s best pastrami
This month marks the 60th anniversary of Pancer’s Original Deli, a family tradition started by Moe Pancer, his wife Rose and son Stan. Originally located at Bathurst and York Downs, Stan bought his children, Michael, Cindy, David and Lorne, into the business to help slice up what some call the best pastrami in North York. The restaurant has seen generations of families walk through its doors to try the savoury Jewish recipes, many of them passed down by Moe’s mother. In 2004, Michael and Lorne relocated the deli a few blocks south to 3856 Bathurst St. However, in 2011, the restaurant closed its doors, but after countless calls and emails later from the community, the Pancers are back in business. Lorne spoke to Post City about their longstanding family establishment.
What’s the work environment like after 60 years?
One of the things we’re very proud of is that we’ve had staff here for over 50 years. We’ve all watched each other grow up and have children. When the Pancers have an affair, all the staff are invited and the deli’s closed. They’re family to us. How many businesses can say that they’ve had employees for 50 years?
Most popular menu item??
The most popular item would be either corned beef or pastrami. But we also serve a couple of meats that a lot of restaurants in the city don’t serve. One of them is called baby beef — it’s provini veal. It’s a Toronto thing.
Any notable guests over the years?
A lot of the Leafs over the years: Eddie Shack, Tiger Williams, Darryl Sittler. As far as celebrities, we have filmed several things here: Rush filmed part of a DVD here. The local rock band Anvil filmed part of their DVD here.
The original Pancer’s location on Bathurst Avenue before moving south