Wolfie’s deli owner Samuel Kaye dies at 94


Samuel Kaye, an entrepreneur whose career included management of Wolfie’s, a fabled Miami Beach deli, died in Florida on Jan. 15 at 94.

Kaye, who ran an import-export business and an answering service company, bought Wolfie’s in 1962 and ran it for 20 years until it closed and a Denny’s replaced it. A classic photo of the restaurant from 1955 can be found here.


Kaye was confident he could run diversified businesses and “had a lot of curiosity and was so adept at multitasking’’ that he succeeded, said his daughter, Andrea Kaye.

“He was everywhere, running around, checking on the baker, tasting the soup,’’ said his other daughter, Patricia.

Those with the nostalgia bug who want to remember the taste of the restaurant’s overstuffed sandwiches, pickles and cole slaw will be interested in sussing out the history and provenance of the different Wolfie’s – there were several of them in the Miami area, with the last one closing in 2008 – can click here for a thorough discussion of the different restaurants and their various owners.

Kaye was born in New York, served in the U.S. Army, earned a bachelor’s degree from Brooklyn College and studied dentistry at New York University. He met his future wife at a dance in Brooklyn, and married her in 1949. They had been married for 63 years when he died.

The Eulogizer highlights the life accomplishments of famous and not-so-famous Jews who have passed away recently. Write to the Eulogizer at eulogizer@jta.org.

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