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Zuppa's Deli in Rock Falls to close

ROCK FALLS – Zeppelins and "mad hatter" sandwiches will be available only 3 more days at Zuppa's Deli.

The restaurant is closing after business Saturday, co-owner Jim Schuneman said today.

"You close because you don't have enough business," Schuneman, 62, said. "The business just went downhill to the point where we have to close."

"We're sad about it, but we gave it a good shot," Schuneman added. "I think the economic times being what they are, $4 gas being what it is, there's not a lot of disposable income. That happens to be where we're at."

Schuneman owns the deli along with Tony Sosi. According to Sauk Valley Media archives, the deli opened in April 2011.

The deli closed for 1 day in August 2011 for remodelling as the deli expanded. The deli, which long offered delivery to businesses, began delivering to homes in December.

The deli, named with the Italian word for soup, offered Italian breads and cheeses, as well as soups. It supported cultural endeavors; Kylon Gragert, 14, reproduced famous works of art on a chalkboard at the back of the deli, including "American Gothic" by Grant Wood.

The deli has one full-time and eight to 10 part-time employees, Schuneman said.

Schuneman owns the building at 511 First Ave. He declined to comment on the future of the building.

The deli will be open regular hours until its closure: from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. today, Thursday and Friday; and from 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday.

"We'll stay open and, ... hopefully, people will come in and pick up a sandwich for nostalgia," Schuneman said.

Cinnamon rolls, normally available on Sunday, will be available Saturday, Schuneman said.

The deli offers daily specials. The special on Thursday will be a deep fried turkey sandwich; Friday's specials will be a grilled cheese and vegetable submarine sandwich or steak sandwich; Saturday's special is a barbecue beef, pork or chicken sandwich.

"As we always say, thanks for your support," Schuneman said.

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