By Kara Boerio
Youngstown State University recently lost some eateries on campus, minimizing the choices for students to find a place to eat but providing opportunities to try places nearby.
Kravitz Deli has been in the Mahoning Valley since 1939 and is the only Jewish deli in the area. Located on Belmont Avenue in Liberty, its specialties are Ruebens, corned beef, bagels, soup and baked goods.
Jack Kravitz, president of Kravitz Delicatessen Inc., said his mother, Rose Kravitz, opened the business when she was 21 and worked there until she was 88.
“We’re the only [ones], who [do] what we do. We specialize in high-quality sandwiches,” he said. “Jimmy John’s used to be [on campus] making good sandwiches, but they’re not there anymore, and we’re not that far away.”
Kravitz said his restaurant offers great food and atmosphere. Every day it offers at least four homemade soups, he said, and on Saturdays it sells breakfast all day.
“We really like having younger people here. We’re very friendly,” he said. “We’re a family business.”
The restaurateur operates a second location not far from campus — Garden Cafe by Kravitz. Located at Fellows Riverside Gardens in Mill Creek MetroParks, it offers a view of Lake Glacier. In the winter, the cafe holds 40 people, and in the summer, it can seat up to 120 people because of its outdoor patio.
“It’s a beautiful, beautiful setting,” Kravitz said.
Sarah Belinky, a sophomore history major, said her experience at Garden Cafe by Kravitz was great and that it was nice having a gorgeous view of the garden and the lake.
“It’s a good choice for students because it’s not too far from campus, plus it’s great food at a reasonable price,” Belinky said.
India Gatts, a freshman undecided major, said it’s a great place to eat and walk the amazing grounds if the weather is nice.
“If you eat outside, it is very peaceful and you get a view of the lake, which is beautiful,” Gatts said. “If you eat inside, there is plenty of seating with tons of natural lighting and it has a dome ceiling that helps the space feel very open.”
Another restaurant not far from campus is Joe Gallagher’s Lunch Bucket. It was created in honor of Joe Gallagher, a local man who had Down syndrome and always referred to his lunch box as a lunch bucket, hence the name.
The restaurant is a part of Golden String, a Youngstown nonprofit that offers professional and recreational opportunities for adults and children with special needs.
Jimmy Sutman, director of Golden String, was inspired by Joe Gallagher to make this program.
“I always plug Joe’s name in, and you know if we’re going to start a program — would Joe Gallagher like this program, would it benefit Joe Gallagher,” Sutman said.
Approximately 30 adults with disabilities perform tasks such as chopping vegetables, cleaning and working the fryers and the grill. The eatery offers daily specials that are good for YSU students, and takeout options are available, Sutman said.
“You know, if you can come on down here, we would definitely do YSU specials — our burgers are really good, our breakfast sandwiches are really good,” Sutman said. “If you show your YSU ID, I will make sure you get a super special deal — a buck or two off.”
Gallagher’s also makes hot meals, and it offers a delivery service to folks with disabilities. It sells breakfast and lunch from 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Monday through Friday at the Oak Hill Renaissance Center.