The story of Irv’s Deli dates back more than 70 years. Irv’s Deli started as the local ‘Fruit Market’ in Fremont, Ne in 1932. The founder, Irv Monovitz, the legendary Irv of Irv’s Deli, graduated high school, was drafted for the Japanese American War and served in Japan for a year. During that time his mother passed away and his father continued running the Fruit Market. Irv returned from Japan to help his father run the Fruit Market, and get married to his wife of 65 years, Mitsy. Irv’s dad told him to cook supper one night. Irv had no idea how to cook, but he used what he had and made veal chops. Thus began his passion, Irv’s Deli.
Irv took over the Fruit Market and made improvements. He bought the infamous antique bar and clock from Burnswick, Germany for only $1,900…today it is valued at over $150,000. The bar continues to be part of the tradition of Irv’s Deli and will not be sold.
Irv & Mitsy began traveling around the country and during their travels tried many local dishes. When Irv found something he really liked, it would inspire him to create a new menu item and he would name it after its city of inspiration.
It took years of great quality food, amazing customer service, wonderful ownership and many traditions being upheld to keep Irv’s Deli around for 70 years. Current owners Rita Cruse and Mari Booze and of course, their hardworking staff, continue to keep the tradition of Irv’s alive and thriving.
Irv Monovitz is now 86 years old and some of his favorite memories include the relationships the staff had with customers more than anything…well besides the Kosher pickles.
The most popular menu items at Irv’s Deli are the ham & cheese sandwich, the Reuben, the chicken salad and the Kosher pickles, of course. Irv’s Deli is the only place nearby where you buy their infamous brick cheese and Grandma’s homemade candy around the holidays. They also deliver, cater, and their sandwiches are distributed to 30 mini marts across the state! Irv’s has made an impact through their quality of product and good prices in places farther than just Nebraska. Visitors nation-wide have visited Irv’s and even requested sandwiches be shipped to them as far as California!