The spirits that still reportedly haunt 538 Campbell in Columbus Park seem to be pleased that the restaurant in the historic building (the former Lapetina Funeral Home; the scene of several emotional mob funerals in the 1930s and '40s) is so successful as a lunch spot. But after dark, the poltergeists are clearly putting the malocchio on the space. For the second time in a year, Pandolfi's owner Jake Hendershot tried reviving dinner service at the deli. He even hired another talented chef, Daniel Breedlove, formerly of Grand Street Cafe, to take over the kitchen. Breedlove replaced original chef Grant Cansler, who left the restaurant to travel through Asia and Australia for several months. (Cansler has decided, since his return to the United States, to leave the culinary world for the corporate one.)
Breedlove turned in his notice this week. He's going to work for Cafe Trio in midtown.
Hendershot began dinner service at the delicatessen in late 2011 and ended it six months later. Breedlove revived the Friday and Saturday dinners in January, but this week, Hendershot said he decided to "discontinue dinners."
"We just weren't attracting the numbers of diners we needed to make it financially viable," Hendershot says. "And I couldn't afford to wait six months until it caught on."
Pandolfi's Deli - which is running a "Muffaletta Madness" promotion, giving away a box of mini-muffaletta sandwiches every day until April 8 - will continue to be open for lunch Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and Saturday from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m.
The private dining room, in the former Lapetina mortuary (the deli is located in the former florist shop), is still available for private functions, including rehearsal dinners, baby showers, brunches, wine tastings - and seances.