Whitehall-Coplay Press

Sunday, July 22, 2018
Press file photoIn this file photo taken just after the Coplay-Northampton Bridge closed in 2017, Dean Fenstermaker (left), owner of Milander’s Deli in Coplay, reported that his business had declined dramatically since the start of construction. He is joined by Dakota Fenstermaker. Press file photoIn this file photo taken just after the Coplay-Northampton Bridge closed in 2017, Dean Fenstermaker (left), owner of Milander’s Deli in Coplay, reported that his business had declined dramatically since the start of construction. He is joined by Dakota Fenstermaker.
PRESS PHOTO BY TINAMARIE MARTINA “For Rent” sign has been placed outside the deli, 301 Center St. PRESS PHOTO BY TINAMARIE MARTINA “For Rent” sign has been placed outside the deli, 301 Center St.
Fenstermaker displays the final item to be sold, a rib eye steak, before closing the store permanently June 22.Press photo by Al Recker Fenstermaker displays the final item to be sold, a rib eye steak, before closing the store permanently June 22.Press photo by Al Recker

Deli closes its doors

Wednesday, June 27, 2018 by AL RECKER Special to The Press in Local News

Milander’s owner says Coplay-Northampton Bridge construction played a part in decline of business

Milander’s Deli, 301 Center St., closed its doors mid-afternoon June 22.

Owner Dean Fenstermaker said the closure of the market was something he could not have even imagined when opening the business Jan. 1, 2016.

Contending the store had choice lunch meats, steaks, chicken and other staples from recognized and established vendors, Fenstermaker reported that business was steady with a good clientele until the Coplay-Northampton Bridge construction started in 2017.

“The store took a big hit,” he said. “It was a major setback.

“There was a customer from across the bridge who came in every week spending $90 or $95,” Fenstermaker said.

Loyal patrons who contend the meat and deli items were fresh and the price fit their pocketbooks were stunned at the deli’s closure.

Fenstermaker mentioned he got into the retail market business for two reasons.

“I wanted to build the business back up and provide my son, Kyle, a future,” he said.

Fenstermaker operated the store with his family, Kyle and Dakota.

He mused holiday business was good and that he had plentiful orders from customers.

Fenstermaker said he is appreciative of families and individuals who shopped at the market.

While he admitted that he could have done more advertising, the bridge being closed was the major factor in his decision to close the deli, he said.

A “For Rent” sign has now been placed outside. Fenstermaker said he will see if there are any persons out there who wish to either resume existing operations or manage a different business at the location.

Milander’s Market was run by John Milander Sr. decades ago and then by his son, John Milander Jr. After buying the business, Fenstermaker renamed the market Milander’s Deli. It was also run by the Miller family years ago and housed a restaurant for awhile.