Popular Jewish-Canadian deli Mile End just lost its opening chef and founder, Noah Bernamoff — but the restaurant has big expansion plans, particularly throughout the South.
The Boerum Hill-born restaurant, opened in 2010, is shifting focus, and Bernamoff has left as part of the changes, saying that his interests “started to diverge from what was best for Mile End.”
Joel Tietolman, who became a partner at Mile End in 2012, remains at the restaurant and has brought on Birmingham, Alabama-based chef Adam Grusin as a partner at the company. Katherine Beto, an alum of Wd~50 and Per Se, has signed on as director of operations as well.
Already, a Nashville, Tenn. location opened earlier this year, and Grusin’s home base in Alabama will soon have an outpost, acting as a “flagship,” according to a spokesperson. In New York, the tiny original Brooklyn location at 97 Hoyt St., between Atlantic Avenue and Pacific Street, will be renovated to add 25 seats. A Noho location remains.
Bernamoff says he hasn’t been involved in the day-to-day for some time and is instead focused on Grand Army, the neighborhood cocktail bar, and expanding his Montreal-style bagel restaurant Black Seed, which recently opened in the Ace Hotel. He’s also working on a new grocery store in the Hudson Valley.
“It was difficult to say goodbye to your firstborn, in a way, but I have nothing but wonderful things to say about the people who are involved with Mile End now,” he says. “I wish Mile End maximum success for as long as humanly possible.”
About eight years ago, the Montreal-native dropped out of law school to work on making some classics from his hometown, including the smoked meat that eventually became Mile End’s signature. Though New York is a competitive deli town, the modern upstart managed to gain traction as a worthy destination, and soon, it expanded to Manhattan.
Despite the founder’s departure, the mantra of the restaurant doesn’t sound like it will change much: It’s still a Jewish deli with Montreal-style smoked meats, with options like brisket, hot dogs, matzah ball soup, and poutine.