Gabe’s Deli Brings San Fran-Style Sandwiches to Lakewood

A new sandwich shop on Cleveland’s west side has been drawing praise since it opened its doors in late winter. Gabe’s Deli (10435 Clifton Blvd., 216-471-8578,, named after owner Gabe Sims, is located in the same prominent strip as the Clifton Wine Bar.

“We have been doing better than expected,” Sims says of his fast start. “We started out pretty decent.”

Sims had been eyeing the adjacent space when MoCa, the former tenant, pulled up stakes. He jumped on the corner property instead.

Sims has been in the food and beverage biz for 23 years, most recently working in Austin, Texas. He originally is from San Francisco, but his girlfriend is a native Clevelander. All the sandwiches are named after Cleveland neighborhoods and movies filmed here.

“I’m a movie buff and she’s a die-hard Indians fan,” he says. “We have season tickets.”

Sims describes his shop as a “San Francisco-style deli.” “It’s mostly cold cut sandwiches, no hot sandwiches or corned beef; that’s a Jewish deli thing. Just fresh high-end bread and really good ingredients.”

Ingredients like Molinari salami, Italian prosciutto, La Quercia ham, and Amish cheeses are layered into Mediterra bread. The popular Tower City ($9) has turkey, ham, bacon, swiss, white cheddar, mayo, lettuce and tomato, while the Deer Hunter ($8) stuffs a farm roll with roast beef, cheddar and horseradish mayo. The Murray Hill ($9), the classic Italian, has salami, prosciutto, ham, fresh mozzarella and vinaigrette.

A few sides like soup, potato salad and pasta salad, as well as Cleveland-based Old City Sodas, are on hand as well.

On Saturdays, a separate brunch menu is offered in addition to regular sandwich menu. Items like a big Cob salad ($11) with romaine, turkey, bacon, egg and swiss, joins a ciabatta pizza ($9) topped with housemade marinara, fresh mozz and basil.

Gabe’s seats about 20 indoors and 30 outdoors on the expansive front patio.

“I’m really enjoying the neighborhood,” says the recent transplant.