Ram’s Deli and Pizza Unveils Refurbished Space


Sari Avila-Franklin/The Fordham Ram

The brand new interior of Ram’s Deli, above, increased space as the deli and the neighboring pizzeria turned into one store.

Lucy Peterson, Contributing Writer

The 24-hour bodega Ram’s Deli Plus located near campus on East Fordham Road is beloved by students, professors and members of the Belmont community. Now, it has a new name and a series of exciting new renovations that provide the space with a much sleeker and spacious interior.

The bodega, recognized by students for its chicken over rice, deli sandwiches and a wide variety of drink selections, has expanded to create a much larger shared space after merging with the small pizza joint, Ram’s Pizza, next door. The renovations boast a significantly larger storefront, an updated electronic menu board, new floors and increased refrigeration casings offering a more comprehensive selection of drinks and snacks.

Before the decision to expand, the narrow aisles in Ram’s were frequently crammed with students visiting during their lunch hour and grabbing late-night snacks on the weekends. The owner’s son, Kareem Saleh, said the decision to expand stemmed from the fact that, previously, Ram’s was just “too tight of a space.” His father wanted to create more options for the customers and Fordham students who regularly visit the deli, Saleh explained.
Some Fordham students questioned the timing of the renovations which took place over the first two weeks of the fall semester, as hundreds of students returned to campus and began to frequent local bodegas again.

However, Saleh said that their goal was to take advantage of the last few weeks of summer when “business was slower” so that the updated Ram’s would be “ready for upcoming students.”

Saleh said that the severe flash flooding that occurred during the first two weeks of September in New York City “slowed construction” on the renovations. Despite this delay, Ram’s Deli and Pizza is now open and already flourishing with Fordham students as well as members of the local Belmont community returning to check out the updated space.

Saleh said that the menu has undergone some changes to select sandwiches but that there are ultimately “more options because the pizzeria is combined with the deli.”

Saleh told the Ram he hopes the recent renovations will provide a better experience for customers. “There is more space, so we can take care of everyone who comes here,” he said. “[I hope] they’ll be happier in the new space.”

Many students feel that the recent renovations provide opportunities for new opinions and controversy to the continuing debate: whether Ram’s Deli and Pizza or its nearby competitor, The Best Deli & Grill, located down the street on East Fordham Road, is the superior bodega.

Thomas DePaola, GSB ’22, said he was excited about the big changes made to Ram’s Deli and Pizza. “The new renovations are beautiful and a really good way for Ram’s to draw even more business and capitalize on the increased number of students on campus,” he said.

Grace Twehous, FCRH ’22, said she was also excited about the bodega’s improved look. “Ram’s is my go-to place for mozzarella sticks, curly fries and of course, their sandwiches. The new remodel and additional space is a huge bonus, too. I can’t wait to enjoy it during the rest of my senior year!”

While students are thrilled by the new renovations, it remains to be seen how the changes will impact the future success of Ram’s competitor, The Best Deli & Grill. At the very least, the new renovations certainly helped kick off the new school year, marked by the return of students to the Rose Hill campus after the impacted of the COVID-19 pandemic. The expansion of Ram’s Deli and Pizza is largely viewed as a welcoming sight, and members of the Fordham community can look forward to checking out the new renovations in the weeks to come.