Short Hills Deli burns down

ewrfwefA blaze in the Short Hills Restaurant and Delicatessen on Evesham Road struck and destroyed the popular landmark on Friday, January 4.

It is believed that the fire started at 2 p.m from a cigarette that was not fully extinguished and thrown away in the rear of the store. It landed near a storage room with flammable objects. The fire spread and caught on to a refrigerating unit. The deli and the offices on the second floor were completely damaged.

It was a three-alarm fire and was contained by 70 firefighters who were from Cherry Hill and surrounding towns. The Cherry Hill Fire Department said that the fire took 75 minutes to control because of strong winds.

The Cherry Hill Police were also on the scene and helped escort people out of the building. All of the workers and the customers in the deli evacuated, and no one was injured. It is unclear if customers had to pay for the food they ate prior to the fire.

While the deli was a total loss, there was only slight damage to the adjacent stores. The Wishing Well and the Short Hills Cleaners are closed for the time being.

The community diner first opened in 1997. Jerry Kaplan, his son Michael, and son-in-law Michael Reiter are the current owners. It was very successful businesses that attracted many local and non-local repeat customers. Well known for its long menus, the sandwiches, and the matzo ball soup, customers could take out food or sit in the family friendly restaurant. Short Hills could seat around 200 people, and it was crowded most of the time.

Because of its great success, customers hope that they will be able to rebuild the deli, although it will not be easy. According to the Short Hill’s answering machine, they hope to reopen in the fall.