New York-style deli to open on-campus next week


By Frankie Rowley, Content Managing Editor

The long-anticipated reopening of the Backstage Cafe will bring new cuisine to Emerson’s campus, as the college is slated to open its first New York-style sandwich shop to the public on Jan. 17. 

Backstage Deli, a revamp of the college’s on-campus eatery in 2 Boylston Place, has been in the works since fall of 2021, when the college decided to shutter Backstage Cafe for good. 

“At the beginning of the fall [2021] semester, we knew we were going to have it offline,” said Jordan Mackenzie, who serves as the college’s customer experience coordinator. “It’s typical for us, at the end of an academic semester, to consider how the year went and student feedback. Then we make changes to keep things fresh and introduce new ideas and concepts to adjust to the needs of the campus.” 

The concept originated with student feedback, with many students saying they missed the “deli” that used to be part of Emerson’s Dining Center. Instead of restoring the deli as a dining hall station, the college opted to commit to the idea of a full establishment. 

“We were able to do it in a full capacity style,” Mackenzie said. “[Instead of] doing grab-and-go sandwiches at the dining center, we can focus on traditional menus with a full deli focus, which is pretty cool for that concept.” 

The location will offer a traditional “New York-style” deli menu—submarine sandwiches, sides, soups, desserts—and will accept meal swipes, as well as dining plan payments like Board Bucks, and EC Cash. Students will be able to use meal swipes on select items, such as one traditional sub, a bag of chips, a pickle, a cookie, and a fountain drink. 

Other items offered at the deli include bottled beverages, various salads, and daily soup and dessert options. 

Like the Lion’s Den, Backstage Deli will be open on weekdays only, from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m.