After being closed for more than a month, Ruma's Deli, a local family-owned fixture for 37 years, will reopen its south-county location this Friday, February 18.
The deli, opened in 1974 by Dee and Tom Ruma, is now headed up by their grandson Brock Ruma, who as a toddler starred in Ruma's television commercials. At one point Ruma's boasted twenty locations scattered across the metro area, including one in Busch Stadium and every shopping mall except Crestwood.
Now with only two locations, the original in Mehlville (1395 Covington Manor Lane, at Lemay Ferry Road; 314-892-9991), and the other down in Imperial (1129 Imperial Main Street; 636-467-9800), the Italian deli is still known for its signature sandwiches, including the "Gerber Special," a hot, open-face ham sandwich with melted garlic butter and Provel cheese, 2008's winner of RFT's "Best Use of the Worst Cheese" honor. Another perennial favorite is "Dee's Special," named for Brock Ruma's grandmother: cold roast beef and ham. There's also baked mostaccioli and St. Louis-style pizza, made with sauce from Di Gregorio's Market on the Hill.
The south-county location closed nearly six weeks ago for remodeling that was expected to take one week, but complications in the construction process have delayed the reopening, causing consternation in SoCo Deli Nation.