Just a few weeks after a ribbon-cutting celebrating the deli's new name and identity, Doc Sam's New York Deli & Gourmet Eatery, formerly Sol Meyer NY Delicatessen, closed last week.
Sol Meyer itself opened to long lines and rave reviews less than four months ago, but those months have been tumultuous, to say the least. In January, chef Sol Shenker split from his partner and brother-in-law, Meyer Samotin, to open Sol's NYC Delicatessen down the road in Main Street's old Applebee's. That forced Sol Meyer to rebrand as Doc Sam's. Within the space of a few months, downtown Sarasota went from zero Jewish-style delis to two.
A couple weeks before Doc Sam's closed, I sat down there for a pastrami sandwich. The meat wasn't as ultra-tender as Shenker's, but it was still quite tasty. I was anticipating a protracted, competitive meat melee, with both delis scrapping to outdo the other. Doc Sam's sudden closure puts the kibosh on such fantasies. Luckily, we've still got Sol's. One good Jewish deli is better than none.