The first Akel’s Delicatessen was opened in 1973 by three brothers: Ishak, Sami and Marwan. They came to America with the dream to have a successful family restaurant. Soon the brothers moved to Long Island and opened their first delicatessen in Freeport, NY. As the years passed the brothers traveled south with their New York style deli food and in 1988 Akel’s Delicatessen expanded to Jacksonville, Florida where it continues to grow. Today, the Akel’s Family continues to spread the Akel’s tradition of quality food and great service.

For the past 10 years, Paul and Tanya Ganim (daughter and son-in-law of co-founder Ishak) owned and operated the Forsyth Street location. Tanya has been a part of the Akels Deli group, at various locations since her preteen years and as she has been described is truly a “sandwich artist” extraordinaire. Paul was trained by his late father-in-law and has excelled in all aspects of of owning and operating a true “New York Style Deli, with an added Southern café touch!

Due to the need for Paul to be with his family in North Carolina and to take care of business interests they have there, he Tanya and the girls will be relocating to the Greensboro area this summer.

On January 2, 2019, Dawn Elmore, owner of Elmore Enterprises and CEO of New Dawn Outreach, with the blessings of her mom and husband, purchased Akels Deli-Café on Forsyth and contracted her friend and associate, Chastity McKnight's non-profit, Café Fellowship, Inc. to manage and operate Akels Deli-Cafe, located downtown Jacksonville, in the heart of its financial district.

The Cafe Fellowship retained the cooks and sandwich artists along with the menu items the public has grown to love over the years. Chastity and her husband Kelly will be adding a few of their personal culinary delights as specials over time.

A portion of all profits are reinvested into the Jacksonville – First Coast area, with the main emphasis being placed on the downtown and our “Street Friends.”

For more information about their activities and operation, please visit


315 W. Forsyth St.

(Across from EverBank)


Monday - Friday:

Breakfast Served until 10:30am
Holidays: Closed Major Holidays


Call us AT:


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