May 25, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

Fromin’s “Deli King” of Santa Monica Retires after 68 Years in Restaurants

By Charles Trepany

A 68-year career spent running restaurants, serving customers and making sandwiches came to a close last Tuesday afternoon when “Deli King” Maurice Solomon retired from Fromin’s Restaurant & Delicatessen on Wilshire Boulevard.

Around 50 of Solomon’s relatives, friends, co-workers and customers gathered at Fromin’s to celebrate his career, with live music, cake and speeches honoring the memories made over the deli case.

“I have seen so many people who have been coming to the deli their whole lives,” Solomon, 79, said. “We have shared meals, laughs and even some tears. I have seen generations that have come and gone, and remarkably I’m still standing.”

Solomon’s career stretches further back than most people’s lifetimes. When Solomon was a young boy, his family escaped Nazi-occupied Belgium and landed in Cleveland, Ohio. At 14, he began his career in restaurants, working as a busboy at his uncle’s deli. He moved to Los Angeles in the early 1970s, and for nearly 15 years, Solomon owned Marjan’s Restaurant and Deli in the Brentwood Country Mart. In 1990, he and his friend Dennis Fromin launched Fromin’s.

Solomon’s wife, Becky, said her husband found his calling in the deli.

“He is a true classic deli man,” she said. “He loves his customers. He loves his food, his presentation. He’s got corn beef in his blood. What he brings to it is an innate sense of food and family and tradition.”

Andrew Paris, who has been a Solomon customer since the age of 8, said the retiree’s friendly nature brought them closer together.

“We would go out to movies and play ball together,” he said. “It kind of morphed from a guy at the deli to one of my closest friends.”

In 1990, Solomon hired Paris to run Fromin’s delivery service. During the 10 years he worked there, Paris said Solomon became like a father to him, imparting values for Paris to live by.

“I did learn a lot from Maurice as a man growing up,” he said. “Just ethical. Do the right thing. There’s never gray area. It’s just right and wrong. Going home at night to be with your family, generosity, kindness.”

Becky Solomon said Maurice’s influence — on both Fromin’s and the Santa Monica community — can be summed up in one word: tradition.

“Just like ‘Fiddler on the Roof,’ it’s the tradition,” she said. “It’s the celebration of every lifetime event around food. It’s the bagels and coffee in the morning. It’s the chicken in the pot for dinner. It’s the pastrami Reuben for lunch… That tradition of food and emotion is just in every bite.”

The “Deli King” got a cake baked in his honor.

One Fromin’s tradition is the Solomon Sunday brunch. Every Sunday for the last 15 years, all four generations of his extended family gather for brunch at Fromin’s while Solomon worked.

Solomon’s granddaughter Sydney Shaevel, who has worked at Fromin’s for the last seven years, said this tradition demonstrates her grandfather’s generosity.

“He was still working, but he got to see the whole family, and it was a really special family tradition,” she said. “That’s just how he is. He would give the shirt off his back. No matter what, he would do anything for his family.”

Shaevel said Solomon’s presence is what made Fromin’s a Santa Monica landmark.

“My grandpa being there has made it what it is,” she said. “That was part of the experience of going into Fromin’s: seeing him behind the counter and knowing he was going to be there pretty much every day was just a constant.”

No matter where retirement takes Solomon, Paris suspects you will likely still find him at Fromin’s — just on the other side of the deli case.

“Come see Maurice at Fromin’s,” Paris said. “He’ll probably be at the first table.”

in News
Related Posts

John Adams Middle School Student Selected to Perform at Carnegie Hall

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

JAMS Student Grayson Fitzgerald named junior finalist for the 2022 middle school honors performance series at Carnegie Hall By Staff...

SMC Student Film “The War Within” Accepted into 2022 American Pavilion at Cannes

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Three Santa Monica College Films Will Screen at In-Person Festival, including 2021 Best Student Film Winner “Broken Layers” and 2020’s...

Santa Monica City Council Looks to Shorten Meetings

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Council to consider changes at Tuesday meeting By Dolores Quintana Santa Monica lawmakers are considering taking steps to shorten City...

Landmark Theater Official Closes on Pico

May 24, 2022

May 24, 2022

Pico Boulevard location closes Sunday By Sam Catanzaro The Landmark Theater on Pico Boulevard in Westwood has officially closed.  The...

Road Closures Expected During Demolition Of Parking Structure Three: Santa Monica Beat – May 23rd, 2022

May 23, 2022

May 23, 2022

Local news and culture in under 5 minutes.* Free Donuts At Randy’s Donuts For National Doughnut Day* Road Closures Expected...

Los Angeles Metro Sees 15.9 Percent Increase in Median Rent

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Median rent of $2,258, according to recent report By Dolores Quintana The ongoing pandemic has exacerbated the issues of housing...

New Renderings for Frank Gehry Hotel Development in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Project would include hotel, apartments, retail and a museum By Dolores Quintana Slowly but surely, plans for a  Frank Gehry-designed...

Shared Mobility Plummets in Santa Monica

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Recent report also shows that nearly half of riders make over $100,000 By Sam Catanzaro Shared mobility use in Santa...

Christopher Dishlip Selected as Santa Monica’s New Assistant Director of Public Works

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

Public Works Director Rick Valte announced the selection of Christopher Dishlip as Santa Monica’s new Assistant Director of Public Works....

Letter to Editor: Response to Himmelrich’s “We Walk the Talk” Column

May 20, 2022

May 20, 2022

By Beau Marks As a Santa Monica resident, I am dismayed by Sue Himmelrich’s response (“We Walk the Talk,” Santa...

Motional And UberEats Launch Autonomous Deliveries In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

There Are Plans For Expansion Into The Rest Of Los Angeles Motional, a global driverless technology leader, and Uber Technologies...

Winston Pies Opening Third Location In Santa Monica

May 18, 2022

May 18, 2022

The restaurant used to be known as ButterCrust Pies Winston Pies is staying in Santa Monica when opening their third...

Only 10 Vaquita Porpoises Survive, But The Species May Not Be Doomed

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

Hope remains for the porpoise species not only survive but thrive with human help. By Stuart Wolpert The vaquita porpoise,...

The American Cinematheque Brings “Bleak Week” To Santa Monica’s Aero Theatre And The Los Feliz Three Theatre

May 17, 2022

May 17, 2022

33 Films From 18 Countries In One Week. By Dolores Quintana Sometimes when things are tough and you’re feeling down,...

Man Who Murdered His Family Members Pleads Guilty To Five Other Killings

May 16, 2022

May 16, 2022

Escobar injured an additional seven other people as well.  By Dolores Quintana A man, Ramon Escobar, has pleaded guilty to...