After an outpouring from the community and strong interest from buyers, Groucho’s Deli in Hickory will remain open a little longer — at least until the end of the month.
The longtime Hickory restaurant announced in early February it would close around Feb. 16, but that’s not the plan anymore, owner Meg Jenkins Locke said. About six people have expressed interest in buying the deli franchise. The restaurant will stay open until those plans are firm, she said.
Right now, they’re vetting several serious buyers to see if they’ll take over the deli with the franchise name, Locke said. By next week Locke hopes to know if there’s a buyer.
“There’s no guarantees,” she said. “We’re sending out good energy and hoping to make this work.”
If someone buys it, the restaurant will stay open while Locke helps transition in the new owners.
“It may be I’m still involved for a while to come,” she said.
Since the restaurant announced its possible closing, hundreds have flooded the deli seeking sandwiches and tasty sauce, Locke said. People have thanked Locke and her family for the 15 years they spent running the restaurant, she said.
“It’s been a really heartwarming transition,” Lock said. “We’ll see what happens in the end but it’s been great to feel valued.”
Locke expects to know in the next week or two if there is a buyer, she said. Until a new owner takes over, the restaurant will only be open until 5 p.m.
Even if the deli name isn’t sold, people are interested in opening their own business in the building on Second Street NE, Locke said.
“The first choice would be for the deli to stay open,” she said. “If not, I think there will be something exciting there either way.”