Venerable deli and purveyor of all that is delicious and corned beef, Slyman’s turns 50 years old this year.
"We are very excited and in awe that it has been 50 years," says co-owner Freddie Slyman.
In 1964, the journey to becoming corned beef kings of the north shore started when Slyman's uncle, Rafic Abdallah, emigrated from Lebanon. "Uncle Radic was sure of one thing when he arrived in this country — he needed to feed his family. Through his hard work, he was able to purchase the restaurant where Slyman's sits now," explains Slyman. And after a few years, Abdallah decided to sell the restaurant to his brother and Slyman's father, Joseph, and a Cleveland legend began.
For the past 50 years, the breakfast and lunch haunt has hosted presidents, actors, rock stars and countless Clevelanders. And while the corned beef is legendary, Slyman's also serves up other deli favorites like pastrami sandwiches and turkey reubens.
As the business has grown, so has the family of founders Joseph and Mae Slyman. When they decided to retire, the keys were passed down to sons Freddie and Joe. On any day, you can see them all hard at work. "I work at the main slicer; my brother is at the register; my cousin Sam is at the other slicer; and my other cousin, Wassim, works next to me on the line," Freddie says.
While they're looking into some other areas, like a possible food truck, the family's mission is concentrated on the restaurant, maintaining their high quality and service. "The bottom line is we have the greatest customers, and as long as they keep coming, we will continue serving," Freddie says.
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