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From left to right: Dan Husak, Annette Husak, Cora (7), Lisa Husak, Aaron, Alice (5), Megan Husak and Grant Husak (3)

published on July 23, 2021 - 2:52 PM
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A storied Fresno deli once closed is now being brought back to life by some of the eatery’s biggest fans.

The Husak family arranged to purchase Sunnyside Deli from former owner Margaret Riley, according to co-owner and now General Manager Megan Husak. Riley had announced she was retiring after running the Southeast Fresno deli for 38 years.

When the Husak family found out it was for sale, they saw it as an opportunity.

“We were good friends of the [Riley] family and we were so heartbroken,” said Husak. “I’m sure hundreds of people were.”

Husak had been teaching elementary school in Brooklyn for the past 12 years. She had been considering making the move back to California for a while. It was while she was in town to see family when they discussed the business venture with her parents, her brother and his wife as well as her sister and sister’s fiance.

The aim is to reopen mid-to-end of August. Most of the equipment is still in place, said Husak, but having been open for nearly 40 years, there were some upgrades that needed to be done.

Husak said it was such a well-run business, they aren’t looking to make many changes. They’ll add a special of their own creation once in a while, but the goal is to maintain the legacy the previous ownership established.

Husak’s mom was a good friend with Riley and Husak has known the family most of their lives. Husak even taught Riley’s granddaughter how to swim.

Now, Husak will act as general manager and her sister-in-law Lisa Husak will also be a presence at the restaurant.

Alex and Ron Stumpf of Stumpf and Co. helped facilitate the sale of the business.

Husak has put out notices for job applications that have garnered “many, many” responses. They are looking to hire 10 to 15 part-time employees as well as bring back a former employee to maintain the reputation Sunnyside Deli built with the community.


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