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New York style ‘pickle DELI’ will open in downtown Idaho Falls this summer

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The pickle DELI will open in July at 515 Park Avenue in Idaho Falls. | Rett Nelson,

IDAHO FALLS – Many of you have read the story we posted Thursday about the new pickle DELI restaurant opening in downtown Idaho Falls soon.

The owner, Bill Gersonde, got back to us with more information.

RELATED: Two new restaurants opening in downtown Idaho Falls soon

He tells pickle DELI will be a New York style deli that will include pork, pastrami, and corned beef sandwiches, along with soup, brisket, Knish, Cannoli, New York Cheesecake, and other traditional dishes in New York deli fare.

“There’s a lot of great restaurants in Idaho Falls and in downtown. But there is a niche that hasn’t been filled and that is more of the grab and go sandwich shop. This is a unique (restaurant) for folks who have been to New York,” Gersonde says.

The menu will focus on fresh, homemade items with quality ingredients and mid-level price points, Gersonde says.

“All the pork is raised on family farms. It’s all free range. No confinement. It’s all made from Duroc, a breed of pig. It’s high quality stuff that you wouldn’t normally find at a deli counter in a grocery store,” says Gersonde.

The restaurant will also feature soda fountains and egg creams, a New York drink made with chocolate syrup, milk and seltzer water.

The concept of pickle DELI combines Gersonde’s passion for food and conservation.

“It’s a taste of New York, like the sign says, with the social conscience. Being in the zoo industry for all those years, conservation and environmental issues are very important to me. By using recyclable paper products, we’re really sending a message that we care about people, we care about our planet, and I think that’s important to do now.”

Gersonde grew up in Iowa and worked in the zoo industry for 30 years. He was the director of the Idaho Falls Zoo at Tautphaus Park for 19 years, before leaving in 2010 to work as a zoo director in Abilene, Texas. He recently moved back to Idaho Falls to open this restaurant.

“I’ve always loved to cook,” he says. “Whenever someone came to the house (as a kid), there was always cookies or cake. Something was always offered to welcome them in. I really enjoy making people happy through good food.”

With all the growth in Idaho Falls and in downtown, Gersonde feels the time is right for more culinary experiences in the city. Since moving back to Idaho Falls, he says things have just fallen into place to make this restaurant a reality.

“Sometimes you have to fight for things in life, but usually, if things are falling into place, that probably means it’s supposed to happen. So that’s how all this has come about.”

The pickle DELI will open sometime in July in a 1,400 square foot space in what was once vacant office space. The building, located at 515 Park Avenue, will undergo extensive renovations right away. A more specific date will be determined later, but once the restaurant is up and running, its hours of operation will be Monday through Friday 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. and Saturday 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.

“I’m excited to be back in Idaho Falls and I’m excited to be part of the downtown community. I want to be an asset to the community. I want to complement the other fine dining places we have here,” says Gersonde. “If I can make a decent living and do something I love to do, make people happy, and have some fun, that’s really what it’s all about.”

Rett Nelson,