The News Courier in Athens, Alabama

February 6, 2014

'Freshened' Wildwood Deli reopens at same location

By Lora Scripps

— A popular deli in Athens that recently closed has reopened under new management.

Wildwood Deli, located at 113 W. Market St. in downtown Athens, opened its doors Monday.

The deli, which has a new look and a fresh, traditional menu, is owned and operated by Rhonda Fisher and her son, Matthew, of Elkmont.

Spirit of Athens Executive Director Trisha Black said she borrowed a coat Wednesday and made the trek to Wildwood Deli for some “very tasty” potato soup.

“I’m proud I didn’t grab a cupcake,” she joked, adding that she wanted to because Wildwood Deli is the Athens location for Gigi’s Cupcakes.

Black said Rhonda Fisher has always supported downtown.

“She is invested and to have her presence is an asset,” Black said.

Rhonda and the Fisher family have been in the area since 1988. When her son and business partner, Matthew, was in elementary school she owned a sandwich shop where K-May Donuts in currently located.

Matthew, 27, graduated from Auburn University with a bachelor’s degree in hospitality and restaurant management. Both he and his mother have worked in corporate management.

Rhonda, who makes homemade chicken and broccoli salad, said Wildwood Deli is offering homestyle dishes.

“Everything is fresh,” she said. “Fresh meat, fresh veggies. We do not even have a freezer in the building.”

Rhonda calls Wildwood a traditional deli, although she said, “we shook the menu up a little bit.”

She said Philly sandwiches in this area are typically made of roast beef. The delicatessen is offering traditional Black Angus shaved rib-eye Phillies.

Wildwood Deli also has new décor. “We freshened it up,” Rhonda said. “It’s nice and comfortable. We want people to feel at home.”

Wildwood Deli is open from 11 a.m. until 6 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and from 11 a.m. until 3 p.m. Saturdays.

Rhonda plans on expanding Saturday hours when the weather warms up and said she would be open when there are events downtown. In fact, Wildwood Deli will be a part of the second annual Chocolate Walk, hosted by Spirit of Athens, Saturday.

A limited number of tickets for the Chocolate Walk are available at U.G. White Mercantile on Jefferson Street and on the Spirit of Athens Facebook page.