Karen Ramdeen has run restaurants in Naples, FL, and Cape Cod, but her relatively new enterprise in Mansfield, The Deli Club, is the first one that makes her feel country.
“For me this is country,” she says of her location on Route 32, near the Route 31 junction and her family roots to the Conants in the Willimantic area. “I never thought I was going to live back here and now I do.”
But the real story is the restaurant was run in the same building by her great-grandmother in 1930. She looks around at the place she's been running since last December and sees the old layout in her mind ... and in the black-and-white photo of it displayed on the wall. It used to be called Burkamp's then, and included a Shell gas pump.
This place is indeed like having breakfast or lunch at a relative's. It has that kind of comfort, right down to the coffee mug collection hanging on the wall. Ramdeen does the cooking and waiting on customers at tables or at the long counter by the grill. The conversation is comfortable and relaxed.
Breakfast is served all day, from opening until 3 p.m. Ramdeen happily subs fresh fruit for potatoes, a refreshing option, and caters to the young patrons by serving single pancakes and finding a coloring book or a princess puzzle to work on while the queens talk and talk over their coffee.
Deli sandwiches, substantial salads, Karen's Chili and a Daily Lunch Special for $5.95 are served for lunch.
You can spot this place on the east side of Route 32, just look for the pink flamingos out front. You'll notice them as a motif inside and out at The Deli Club. A former Floridian can't help herself.
No wonder it feels like home. Ramdeen lives right there, in the same house where The Deli Club resides.
“This isn't a real restaurant, it's my home....and they leave me money,” she says.
The Deli Club is at 452 Stafford Rd. (Route 32) in Mansfield. Breakfast is served all day, Mon-Fri, 6 a.m. to 3 p.m. and opening an hour later on Saturday and Sunday. For restaurant or catering information, call 860-423-1200.