From the Akels of yesterday to the New Dawn Deli-Café of today…

The first Akel’s Delicatessen was opened in 1973 by three brothers: Ishak, Samian and Marwan who came to America with the dream of having a successful family restaurant. Soon the brothers moved to Long Island, taking their dream with them and opened their first delicatessen in Freeport, NY. Several years later they traveled south with their New York style deli food, expanding Akel’s Delicatessen to Jacksonville, Florida. In 2010 Ishak’s daughter Tanya and her husband Paul continued the family tradition by opening  “Akel’s Deli” at 315 Forsyth Street in the heart of Jacksonville.

On January 2, 2019 Dawn Elmore, owner of Elmore Enterprises and CEO of New Dawn Outreach (NDO), in a “leap of faith,” purchased Akel’s Delicatessen (315 Forsyth Street Jacksonville FL) to create a “for profit” support base for her nonprofit, New Dawn Outreach. At that time, she contracted her friend and associate, Chastity McKnight's non-profit, Café Fellowship (CF), Inc. to manage and operate Akel’s Deli. The purchase of the deli and its consequential contract with CF made it possible for the McKnights to remain on the First Coast, managing-operating the restaurant, while serving in their appointed positions, as directors with New Dawn Outreach (NDO).

Chastity and her husband Dr. Kelly McKnight (PhD) serve as Outreach and Marketing Directors, respectively, for “New Dawn Outreach (NDO).” NDO is a Jacksonville based 501c3 who, as their main objective, focus on the homeless challenge within the Jacksonville metro area and beyond. Their primary emphasis is on our “Street Friends” living in the downtown area, by connecting them with needed resources such as medical attention, housing, support groups, rehabilitation centers, employment, etc., while reconnecting them with family members and friends… those committed to being part of their successful transition back into their community as productive members of society.

New Dawn Deli-Cafe retained the cooks and sandwich artists along with many of the menu items the public has grown to love over the years. Chastity and her husband Kelly are in the process of introducing a few of their personal culinary delights, as special menu offerings.

In April 2019 Dawn elected to make the McKnights Managing Partners-owners. The ownership team consisting of Dawn, her mom and the McKnights made a commitment to continue offering great “NY style deli sandwiches” along with special “Southern culinary delights,” in a friendly and inviting atmosphere.  

At the same time, they began their rebranding as the “New Dawn Deli-Café.” This change integrates the relationship between the deli-café and New Dawn Outreach.

The proceeds from New Dawn Deli-Café are reinvested into the Jacksonville – First Coast area, focusing on the downtown area and it’s “Street Friends.”

For more information about their activities and operation, please visit


We use only the best ingredients that keep
customers coming back AGAIN ANd again.

315 W. Forsyth St.

(Across from TIAA)


Monday - Friday:


7:00am - 1:00pm

Closed Major Holidays

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