An old hot spot for students at the College of William and Mary is getting a facelift.
The College Delly will soon reopen with a new interior and expanded menu, as the owners of Paul’s Deli take over ownership and management of the restaurant.
The College Delly will be closed for two weeks for the renovation.
The interior, fixtures and menu will undergo alterations under the new ownership.
The new ownership does not plan to change everything about the bar and restaurant, however.
“There is a lot of history and memories at the College Delly, and we wouldn’t want to change that,” manager of Paul’s Deli Ryan Dunkle said.
Established in 1969 as a family-owned business, and at approximately the same time as Paul’s Deli, the College Delly is known for its sandwiches.
George Tsipas, the owner of Paul’s Deli, said he has no intention of changing this distinction.
“We are keeping the original sandwiches, just expanding the menu to include pastas, salads, and seafood,” Tsipas said. “The Delly is as much a part of Williamsburg and the school as Paul’s Deli is.”
Other renovations and changes will include a non-smoking patio and new tiles, paint and patio furniture. The restaurant will also maintain the name “The College Delly.”
“We want this to still be the College Delly, but a little bit different,” Tsipas said.
According to Tsipas, student response to the renovations has been overwhelmingly positive.
“We are establishing a family atmosphere in the College Delly,” Tsipas said. “We want to give the students good choices and bring the business back to where it was.”
Tsipas was approached last month by the Tsemauras family, the former owners of the College Delly, about taking over the business. His acquisition of the restaurant was based partly on his wish to bring the tightly-packed triangle of local eateries — the Green Leafe Cafe, the College Delly, and Paul’s Deli — back to life, and partly on the friendship Tsipas has maintained with the Tsemauras family for many years.
“Every business has suffered over the last ten years, and we wanted to bring the College Delly back up to par,” Tsipas said.
Both the College Delly and Paul’s Deli will now be run by the Tsipas family. Three original employees from the College Delly will continue to work there, but most employees chose to leave.
The College Delly’s grand re-opening is tentatively scheduled to occur within the next few weeks.