Borderline Deli resumes business under new ownership

By Jared Castañeda
Posted 4/17/24

Borderline Deli, a staple Pine Bush eatery located at 1218 Burlingham Road, held a grand reopening last Monday, April 8 after changing ownership and undergoing numerous renovations the week prior. …

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Borderline Deli resumes business under new ownership


Borderline Deli, a staple Pine Bush eatery located at 1218 Burlingham Road, held a grand reopening last Monday, April 8 after changing ownership and undergoing numerous renovations the week prior. Residents can expect an expanded menu of delectable dishes old and new, a cozy interior with ample seating, and friendly faces from the returning staff.

Around 1994, John and Deborah Saft opened Borderline Deli after purchasing the former Dewdrop Cafe property. The deli operated for 30 years until Deborah, who eventually became the sole owner, retired and sold the business to Nanette Jenkins, the new owner, on March 27. Jenkins, a Pine Bush resident who moved from Walden last August, has an extensive background in the food industry and saw Borderline Deli as an exciting opportunity.

“I heard there was an apartment for rent up here, and then my brother told me that this place was for sale,” she said. “I love being an entrepreneur and I’ve always loved the food industry. I used to own a food truck, and I was a waitress for 20 years, so this seemed to be the perfect middle point of a restaurant and a food truck.”

Throughout its entire run, Borderline Deli was revered for its fresh and diverse selection of cold cuts, salads, and especially sub sandwiches, loaded to the brim with Boar’s Head meats. Be it the Italian Stallion or the Chuckwagon, on a roll or a hero, customers cannot go wrong with their choice and will end up coming back craving more. Jenkins and the staff preserved this irresistible menu and hope to add even more items, such as the Frenchie, a breakfast sandwich made with sausage, egg, and cheese wrapped in French toast pita bread and coated with smokey maple syrup.

“We’re going to add to the menu, we’re not going to take anything off the menu,” Jenkins said. “I’ve been cooking since I was 10 years old and I love cooking comfort food, and that’s what we’re adding to it. Eventually, when we get the back kitchen set up, we’ll be doing more hot food.”

“We’re going to add a whole line of specialty pita sandwiches; we’re going to try one a week for a while to see how they go,” she continued. “And of course, we make great Boar’s head cold cut subs here.”

Between April 1 and April 7, Jenkins and the staff overhauled the deli’s interior, giving the property a new coat of paint, a thorough cleaning, and optimized space for working and seating. Gone are the days of customers trying to sit down behind a gondola or on two benches outside during obnoxious weather conditions, as now they can comfortably sit while eating. The deli’s crew also hopes to finish the back kitchen soon, which would increase their range of hot dishes.

“We repainted, rebranded, moved the counters and coolers, and opened it up to have open seating and more workspace,” Jenkins. “We deep cleaned and cosmetically changed everything around so that it was more functional to work in.”

Jenkins stressed that every employee who worked at Borderline Deli before the reopening is still here and happily reprising their role, with a few new additions to the team. She thanked each staff member for their contributions to the deli, including Will Steiger, Tabitha Allen, Nico Catalano, Jean-Marie Will, Joni Hlavachek, and Sandy Cuomo.

“It’s awesome, everything looks beautiful and customers are enjoying themselves,” said Cuomo, a new employee who recommended the Poor Boy Loaf, a hot Italian sandwich.

“It’s been fantastic, it’s changed so much but it’s still beautiful,” said Steiger, a cook who has worked at the deli for eight years. He also recommends the Poor Boy Loaf.

“I love all the positive feedback. The customers are very happy and I’m so proud of the team,” said Hlavachek, who has worked at the deli for the past three months. She recommended trying out their grilled chicken sandwich on pita, made with homemade ranch dressing.

Jenkins also thanked all the regulars for their continued patronage, who kept Borderline Deli thriving all these years. She gave a special mention to Earl Caston, a customer who was a huge help with the deli’s renovations.

“Those regulars that come in here, they’ve kept this place going,” Jenkins said. “If Debbie and the regulars did not keep this deli going the way they did, I would have never had this opportunity, so I’m very thankful to both of them.”

Borderline Deli is located at 1218 Burlingham Road and operates from 6 a.m. to 7 p.m. between Monday to Friday, 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Saturday, and 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday. For more information on the deli’s menu or daily specials, call (845) 744-3354 or email Jenkins at