Kosher Deli on Hold, Say Mavens

Kosher students seeking a change in cuisine will be doomed to local salad bars until spring, says Law Professor and deli impresario Alan Dershowitz.

"Mavens' Kosher Court," once scheduled to open this winter, will not sling pastrami and pickles until after Passover, according to Dershowitz and local attorney Marcus Weiss, two of the several local businessmen in the venture. Others include Mitch Kapor of the Lotus software company, and attorney Harvey Silverglate '67

Weiss, who handles the restaurant's business operations, said renovations at 95b Winthrop St. will hit high gear over the next two months and may be done in time to cater a private Passover dinner in early April.

Last September, Dershowitz said he would not open his establishment "until we have the best pastrami north of Fourteenth Street." Now, he explains the delay with a new motto: "We will serve no pastrami until its time."

To honor that pledge, the ace attorney said he has visited "some of the great delis of the world"--mostly in New York, Florida and Los Angeles. "I put on two pounds at each place," he said of a recent trip to the Big Apple.

Since September the venture has acquired some new features and a few additions to the "Board of Mavens" (Yiddish for self-appointed experts). The panel now includes cellist Yo-Yo Ma '76, violinist Itzhak Perlman, the Boston Celtics' Red Auerbach, the owner of Boston's kosher Milk Street Cafe, and Sheldon Cohen of Out of Town News.

The package will still include what Weiss describes as "some fancyshmancy computers" to handle takeout orders. Designed by a local software firm for Pentagon use, the computers are designed to take spoken sandwich orders by telephone.

And, the deli will also play the role of yenta on alternate weekends, Weiss Lawrence will "talk to those who are really having problems about the whole thing," said Weiss.

"We're thinking about, once a month, having a psychologist for restaurant owners," added a harried Weiss. "Or at least a straitjacket to hang on the wall in the office."