BLACKSBURG, Va— Located behind a blue door and down a flight of steps, Sycamore Deli is one of Blacksburg’s hidden gems. Unfortunately, by June, the blue doors will be shut permanently after over 20 years of business.
Sycamore Deli is known for its creative subs, such as The Tugboat, its weekly salsa nights on Wednesdays, and live music shows on the weekend, but when Mike Weber first opened Sycamore, its focus was creating subs and selling kegs.
“When I opened the deli, we were a true sandwich shop. Our main priority was selling quality subs and, as the years went on, we incorporated the bar and the venue aspect of the business, but lately we haven’t been doing as well in sales as we used to,” said Weber.
Last summer Sycamore’s sales dropped, causing Weber to have to put more money into the deli this past year, but it wasn’t enough, and after a couple years of trying to decide whether to close the restaurant or not, Weber finally found his answer.
“My son is leaving Blacksburg, and I don’t have the time to manage the deli the way I would like to, and the way that it deserves and, while my general manger, Michelle Berry, goes above and beyond to make sure it runs smoothly, I wouldn’t want to leave it all on her, knowing it needs work. The truth is, it’s not just about financial reasons, but the fact that I’m also in real estate and I’ve decided to devote more time to that recently,” said Weber.
Weber did discuss closing the restaurant with his wife and his son before making the final decision, and after some mixed emotions, they agreed that was what was best.
Weber worked in the kitchen this week, making subs that he hadn’t personally made in a while, and while he cut open a loaf of his in-house made bread, he couldn’t help but be nostalgic over Sycamore.
“I really will miss this place. It hasn’t been an easy decision for me to make, and that’s why it’s taken a couple of years to finally do it. I know people will miss the deli, but they should know that I’m right there with them,” said Weber.
As the semester closes at Virginia Tech, and the seniors graduate and close a chapter of their lives, we must say goodbye to Sycamore Deli, and allow it to close a chapter as well.