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Elkhart's Old Style Deli closing after Friday until late winter

Janice Hayden isn’t the only person heading from the Midwest to Florida for the winter.

It’s just that most of them don’t operate popular restaurants and opt to close them until spring.

Hayden, owner of Old Style Deli at the corner of Main and Lexington in Elkhart, is breaking the news to breakfast and lunch customers that she’s going south for the winter. Her last day before closing will be Friday, Dec. 18, and the deli will reopen in March.

In a note she’s giving customers, she said she doesn’t want to fully retire at age 63 and is practicing for later. Her mother, Wilma, is 85 and in poor health. She has other family in Florida.

She’s been thinking about six months on whether to close this way. “The biggest fear of course is will my customers return,” she said.

She’ll be staying with friends and enjoying the warmer weather. “Flip flops in January? Let me think about it,” she said, cracking a smile.

The Deli has been a popular spot in downtown Elkhart for more than 30 years. She opened in the fall of 1983 and has become a key piece of downtown.

She’s assuring people this isn’t her shuffling off. She’ll be back to open the first week of March.

Pam Knight said she’ll find other work for a couple months and rejoin Hayden in the spring.

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