The Pine Street Deli closed early on Wednesday, its final day in business. By 3 p.m., the coolers were empty, the shelves were bare and even the bread had been snatched up by a surge of customers who dropped by a final time.
Employee Taylor Courville gestured toward the coolers. "All we have left is cream and beer," he said.
The Alvanos family has owned the popular sandwich shop and convenience store on the corner of Pine Street and Flynn Avenue for 11 years. The building is to be demolished and replaced by a new one with 30 studio and one-bedroom apartments.
It's been a four-year process to design the new building and secure permits, said Michael Alvanos, who helps run the deli. The closing of the family operation wasn't particularly emotional, Alvanos said. "We have a lot more work to do," he said with a shrug.
The building will have two commercial spaces on the first floor. Alvanos said he hopes to have a restaurant, but couldn't say for sure if he'd reopen Pine Street Deli.
Demolition is scheduled to begin in early June, he said.
Courtesy of Redstone
The proposed building
The deli is owned by Alvanos' parents, George and Christine Alvanos. The family previously operated the Parkway Diner near Burlington International Airport. Michael Alvanos, his brother Evan, and Taylor Courville also own the Guilty Plate Diner in Colchester.
"We wanted to design ourselves a project that we feel will support all the great things going on on Pine Street," said Alvanos, who also works as an architect for JRMA Design Studio.
This project would help the restaurant owners make ends meet, Alvanos said. He called the housing options in Burlington "anemic" and said the development would allow the family to diversify its sources of income.
Alvanos sees the development as a way to strengthen his family's ties to the South End. He grew up in the area, as did his mother. "We have a great strong connection to this area," Alvanos said. "We want to put something here that's going to last a long time."