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Daily Deli Closes in Ballston

by ARLnow.com September 10, 2012 at 10:50 am 5,596 60 Comments

Daily Deli, a restaurant serving “New York Style Sandwiches” in Ballston, has closed after less than a year in business.

The deli, at 1000 N. Randolph Street in the former Upper Crust Cafe space, served Illy coffee and Carnegie Deli-branded meats, but received mixed reviews on Yelp, with customers complaining about the food and the service.

“I had to tell someone three times what was in a Reuben, only to have her slather mayo all over the bread,” wrote one reviewer.

A sign in the window says the restaurant space is now available for lease.

Photo courtesy Bill Colton

  • JamesE

    I had no problem with the food but it did take them an extremely long time to make a sandwich and me having to repeat myself constantly, and this was on a Sunday when it was empty, I can only imagine how bad it was on a weekday.

    • Listen to this guy! man, you must b*tch all the time. What you had to wait another 3 mins for a sandwich?

  • Modwop

    Please, for the love of all that’s holy, let Brooklyn Bagel follow Earl’s lead and open a second location in this spot!

    • SouthernPrincess

      I second that!!!!!

    • FlipFlopEnthusiast

      If people thought Daily Deli’s service was bad, just wait until they deal with the Brooklyn Bagel guys.

      • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

        what is with the insane amount of runners at brooklyn bagel on weekend mornings?

        we get it, you went running and you have spandex. you can take your 900 calorie bagel and eat it at home

      • YTK

        I stopped going to BB when I saw the clerk wipe her nose with her hand and then ask me what I wanted. At that point all I wanted was to get out.

        • Brian

          Good luck ever eating out again. That’s just what you gotta put up with anywhere.

      • SMDC


  • James Moron

    Tough location – kind of no-man’s land between VA Square and Ballston. That said, this place really was mediocre. Buying meat from Carnegie Deli does not give it “real deli” status. It was as if these guys have never even been to a real Jewish deli which they ostensibly were attempting to replicate

    • John Fontain

      I don’t know Ballston’s offical borders, but the location of the Daily Deli was about as centrally located in Ballston as you can get. Wasn’t it one block from the Ballston metro?

      • Brian

        Yes, it’s directly across from A-Town.

        • James Moron

          The heart of Ballston – in my opinion – stretches from around ihop to Glebe on Fairfax Drive; Rustico to Glebe on Wilson and the area in between.

  • HenryBennetXIII

    Saying you carry Carnegie meat doesn’t instantly make you good.

  • NewYorker

    Yes, beware of any place claiming New-York “Style” anything. Also, I frown on places that hang faux plastic prosciutto and provolone in the window (not mentioning any names).

  • Who’s the Boss

    I always wondered where the boss was in this place. I went there 3 times and every time it looked like high school or freshman college students running the place with no supervision. They took FOREVER to make my sandwich every time. I guess I dumb one for going there more than once.

    The location is tough like James pointed out.

    Maybe they should gut the place, make the front of it a huge garage door, and let different food trucks park inside and do business each day.

    • Ricardo

      That is a freaking brilliant idea!

  • JnA

    Questions that should be asked: There is a large Chamber of Commerce in Arlington County, yes? There is a business improvement district in Ballston, yes? There is a large Arlington Economic Development office, yes? There are several large blogs that generally promote Arlington, yes? There is a popular reality TV show that focuses on making over failing restaurants (sane half-dozen problems restaurant after restaurant, episode after episode), yes?

    How and why did this restaurant fail?

    • Swag

      Because it sucked?

    • Who’s the Boss

      I’m sure the reality TV show that focuses on making over failing restaurants gets about 1,000 requests a day to have them come to their failing business.

      • greg

        i think his point is all you need to do is turn on the tv to see what not to do.

        wilson tavern and village bistro will meet the same fate.

        • Who’s the Boss

          I have been to Wilson Tavern once and the service was so bad I haven’t returned. Is that place still just as horrible? I really wanted to like it too.

          • Greg

            Not sure. I went 2x 6 months ago. The first time, the credit card machine went down so he let pretty much anyone who said they didn’t have cash get a free tab. The next time, the bartenders were getting shots for themselves and attractive girls even though the attractive girls continually told them they didn’t want them (so the bartenders kept drinking them). Better yet, a manager or owner was visibly drunk behind the bar and inviting attractive patrons back to his house and bragging about his car.

            I worked in a bar run by 21 year olds before and we were a little unprofessional but we looked like employees of the year compared to these jokers. I give it a year.

          • Toupee

            That actually sounds like what those restaurant/bar makeover shows deal with when trying to get the place back on its feet. I guess the owners didn’t watch any of those shows. How do these people even get a loan to open such a place? If I was able to open a place in this area I’d sure as hell be there every waking hour to make sure the place was running smoothly and my employees weren’t stealing my alcohol in order to get laid.

    • Brian

      This isn’t the first thing in that location to fail. I think this is the third restaurant in the past 7 years (that I’ve lived in Ballston) to go in there. It’s an odd location. It is in the middle of Ballston, yet it’s not really central to it for foot traffic. I think because you pass several similar things (including a deli right over the metro) that it was never going to get popular. I walked by it all the time because I need to park on the street, but never once felt the need to go in. I think a quaint restaurant/bar would work well there. Something niche-y.

  • JohnB2

    The stench from the cigar shop two doors down prevented me from ever checking it out. I don’t understand how any business could survive there. The salon next door must reek too.

    • Patron

      I feared the salon next door would stink too, but to my surprise, it doesn’t, and they serve you free wine when while you get your hair done :).

  • BrianKal

    Not surprised, walked in expected a NY-style Jewish deli. The pricing system was confusing and the sandwiches pricey once I figured that out. Very pricey I remember, I walked out without even eating and never went back.

  • Astoria442

    put in a Dunkin instead! Arl needs more Dunkins!

    • Who’s the Boss

      Remember when Pio Pio used to be a Dunkin Donuts with a DRIVE THRU!? How did that ever fail?

      • Sherriff Gonna Getcha

        Umm the chris zimmerman war against cars?

        • drax

          Nope. Nice fail.

          • darsasx

            Proof? Otherwise, what SGC said.

        • jg

          Actually, I heard that the car lot across the strret owned the property and upped the rent and the woman who ran that Dunkin and the one at Pershing and Glebe said see ya and closed them both. That said, if you want a Dunkin – call them. I suggested a location a few years ago and they sent me 2 lbs. of coffee as a thank-you.

          • John Fontain

            The completely run down property on which Pio Pio sits is owned by Arlington Auto Care. Thank them for the eyesore.

          • Great

            If this is true then that really sucks. Thanks Arlington Auto Care for the absolute worst restaurant in the area. It’s a complete eyesore, I don’t see how it makes any money, no one is ever in there.
            Does anyone even know who owns that trash hole (Pio Pio)?

  • GreaterClarendon

    For someone who doesn’t work in Ballston, the times I walked by, it was closed – so never go to try it.

  • Just Me

    Would love a Dunkin!!!

  • Feed me

    The location isn’t the problem. Put in an Amsterdam Falafelshop – or anything else interesting and worth of a few blocks walk – and all will be well.

    • JamesE

      + eleventy billion for a Falafel shop

    • SMDC

      Yes please! Love that place!!

  • Warwick Von Steuben

    How can it be the location? The IHop right across the street has thrived for decades and there are plenty of other operations on that block that do fine. It’s not exactly in the middle of nowhere. Thousands of pedestrians pass that site every day.

    Quite simply, a decent place with decent prices will succeed. And Ihop isn’t exactly decent sometimes but it fills a niche for late night drunks.

    • Ballstonian

      I think a bigger problem is the glut of sandwich/burger places in the area. If you get off the metro, theres Cosi across one street, Subway and now Earls directly across another, a deli behind you, Potbelly’s, Mikes, Quiznos, the deli in the Archstone, Panera, all within a couple blocks, and Wiinky’s and Big Buns a couple blocks further.

      I really like Earl’s and hope it does well in Ballston, but I could see it not doing well due to all the competition.

      • Brian

        don’t forget Laura Cooks! <3 Laura, my go-to place

        • Ren

          It rocks! The bad attitude even works… ;D

  • Ricky Rose

    A late-night food place would do great there. With more bars opening up, ballston desperately needs some late-night options. I stopped at taht Pizza Autentica place on Friday night….DISGUSTING. pizza wasnt even cooked

    • Who’s the Boss

      So they just made the dough and threw sauce and cheese on it and then gave it to you? That’s weird.

    • Brian

      That place is really gross. It tastes like Sbarro’s. I swear, they’re so similar I thought maybe this was Sbarro’s + beer (like a sister company outside malls).

  • JnA

    For what these restaurants collect in meals tax alone (not to mention the other taxes) that they pass on to the County they should have expert advice provided by public-private volunteers about how to improve.

    (BTW, Chef Robert advertises for restaurants to contact the show’s producers at the end of the show).

    Ditto for health department inspections. Health Department constantly cites restaurants for the same 6 violations. Why?

    • greg

      thats very socialist of you.

    • John Fontain

      It’s not and shouldn’t be the role of local government to teach businesses how to be businesses. Businesses can hire consultants with actual business experience if they really need the help.

  • Ricardo

    Went there twice, was disappointed twice. Not surprised to see it go.

    In its place, I’d like to see a restaurant open only to people 40 years of age or older.

  • GC2

    I think it would be a great location for a Ray’s the Skirts

    • greg


      somebody write landrum!

  • They did not understand their product or the culture behind it. Or how to run a restaurant. Good pastrami but they ordered the wrong corned beef cut. It is a shame but they really did n It is a shame but they really did not knowwhat they were doing. I really did want them to ssuceed.

  • Id

    It wasn’t mayo they slathered on the Reuben or Carnegie meats they served. It was meat provided from Murphy’s Funeral Home.

  • Mc

    There is nothing wrong with the location but something wrong with the imagination of the food offered here. The next restaurant needs to offer something that will draw people from outside Ballston. No more blah sandwich burger places.

    • Who’s the Boss

      I’m telling you, my food truck garage idea is gold.

      • Bluemonter

        I agree with you! That is a brilliant idea.

  • PapiChulo

    I went to the Daily Deli once shortly after it opened. While the staff was courteous, they were clueless how to make a Reuben sandwich. My take; if you’re boasting New York style deli sandwiches make sure that your staff knows how to make them. I had really high hopes for this place.


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