Downtown Farewell

Like many Evansville residents who work and live in Downtown, we were saddened by the news that long-time eatery Emge’s Deli and Ice Cream would be leaving their location after 45 years.

Though the iconic deli and lunch spot is moving to a new location on First Avenue, we sure will miss walking in for a grilled cheese sandwich, taco salad on Thursdays, or a delicious, stacked Reuben sandwich. This week, Emge’s will be serving their last dishes, closing up its doors on 206 Main St. to make the final move to the 3448 N. First Ave. location.

When Jan and Tom Howell purchased the original Emge’s in 1974 from Victor Emge, it had been located in an alley behind Luhring News and Doerner Sporting Goods. Back then, it was more a meat processing company with a smaller deli — meat, cheese, and mayo were your choices on the menu.

Jan and Tom expanded that menu and built a well-known lunch stop in Downtown. In 1994, they moved the deli to its Main Street location. Tracie Jones — who worked with Jan for more than 23 years — took ownership of the deli in 2018.

A person need only walk through the door and quickly see the reason for Emge’s popularity. Jan, Tracie, and their staffs over the years have strived to know their customers by name and favorite orders. There’s smiles and laughter constantly, served up right along delicious homemade soups, sandwiches, sides, plate lunches, and more.

Emge’s final day in Downtown will be this Friday, March 19. An open date for the new location hasn’t been set yet, but the staff are excited to bring the same menu with some new additions to the First Avenue corridor.

While we are sad to see them leave the Main Street location, we wish Tracie and her crew the best! And rest assured, you will continue to see the Evansville Living staff picking up some of those tasty classics from the new location.

[For updates, follow Emge’s on Facebook!]

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Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen
Jodi Keen is the managing editor of Evansville Living and Evansville Business magazines.

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