Last updated on March 2nd, 2022 at 02:51 pm
Jake’s Deli, an iconic Jewish delicatessen in Milwaukee, has been sold by former Milwaukee Brewers owner and former Major League Baseball commissioner Allan H. “Bud” Selig to Wajeeh Alturkman, according to a press release Tuesday. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Jake’s Deli is located at 1634 W. North Ave., on the city’s north side. Selig had owned the deli for more than 50 years.
Alturkman said he will continue the traditions and flavors that the deli’s customers are familiar with.
“This is the opportunity of a lifetime for me and we will take great care to follow the recipes and traditions of Jake’s,” said Alturkman. “Many restaurants and delicatessens have come and gone — there is a reason why Jake’s continues to attract customers from all over the Milwaukee area. It is a privilege to be given the opportunity to keep something so special alive to be appreciated by future generations.”
Alturkman has lived in Milwaukee for nearly 30 years after immigrating from Amman, Jordan in 1992. He has operated the House of Corned Beef, 5201 W. Silver Spring Dr., Milwaukee, for the past eight years, and became one of Jake’s regular customers while driving a cab to help put himself through college at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee.
“I would stop by Jake’s whenever I got a craving for their corned beef, which was just about every day,” said Alturkman. “To go from driving a cab to having a chance to own and operate Jake’s is a dream come true. It again proves that in America, if you are dedicated and work hard you can make it.”
The neighborhood around Jake’s was once the center of the city’s original Jewish communities and a number of prominent Jewish leaders grew up in the area, frequenting Jake’s on a regular basis. One of them was Ben Barkin, a premier Milwaukee public relations executive and friend of Selig. When Jake Levine, the original owner of Jake’s, announced he was selling the deli in 1969, Barkin asked Selig to join him and two others in buying the deli to keep it going. Years later, Selig became the sole surviving owner.
“I’m proud to say that generations of our loyal customers have helped keep Jake’s going for all these years,” said Selig. “I believe we have found a new owner who is committed to keeping the quality and taste of food at Jake’s up to the standards of the past. Taste buds don’t change with the generations. You can always find fast food restaurants anywhere, but there is only one Jake’s.”
“There’s so much history in that building and we’re not going to change much,” Alturkman said. “I promise people will notice our excellent customer service and the quality of the food we provide.”