Southwest Detroit institution Hygrade Deli is up f...

Southwest Detroit institution Hygrade Deli is up for sale

“I’m not getting any younger, let me put it that way," 65-year-old owner Stuart Litt said.

Via Colliers International Detroit

Southwest Detroit’s beloved Hygrade Deli has been put up for sale. Known for its decadent reuben sandwiches, the deli at 3640 Michigan Ave. was listed on the market this week without an asking price. 

Hygrade owner Stuart Litt told Detour that the sale is not due to a COVID-19-induced decline in business. According to a sales brochure for the property, business is up 20% from this time last year. 

“I’m testing the waters to see how much interest there’d be in the building and property,” Litt said. “It’s something I’ve been thinking about for a while.”

But because business has been good, Litt’s not in a rush. If he doesn’t get an offer he likes, he’ll continue working as he always has. “I’ve got a prime piece of land here on Michigan Avenue right next to Corktown,” he said. “I’m not gonna give the place away at all.”

He declined to say at what price he would consider selling the business. The property is less than a mile away from Michigan Central Station, and its $740 million redevelopment by Ford Motor Company has caused a spike in nearby property values in recent years. 

Litt’s father bought the Hygrade building in 1972, and Stuart has been working at the deli from almost the beginning, eventually assuming ownership in the 1980s (he doesn’t recall the exact year). While he didn’t give his precise motivations for selling, the 65-year-old Litt did say, “I’m not getting any younger, let me put it that way.” 

Asked if selling would be bittersweet, Litt said, “I’m not an emotional person but I suppose it’s gotta be. You never know how you’re going to react when that time comes.”

Hyrade Deli is listed with Ben Hubert and Benji Rosenzweig at Colliers International Detroit.

Aaron Mondry is the editor of The Dig and a reporter who covers development, housing, architecture, real estate and land use in Detroit. He was previously the editor of Curbed Detroit.