Welcome to Smith's Deli

We’ve been family-owned and operated in the heart of Clintonville since 1960. We love serving the people of Columbus with our fresh variety of homemade food. From pizza to pasta and bagels to subs, we’re perfect for lunch, dinner or even catering a party. We know you’ll find something delicious for everyone in your family. Hope to see you soon!

Our hours

Tuesdays through Saturdays: 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.
Closed on Sundays & Mondays

Give us a call

614 263 1855
614 267 7541

Our History

The story actually begins a few years earlier, when Smith’s Meat and Frozen Food Center opened its doors in 1952 on Sunbury Road. It was founded and run by Jack Smith Sr. and his wife Gloria.

But when the building once known as Clintonville Lockers at 3737 N. High St. went up for sale in 1961, Smith decided to relocate his business to the same community where he lived. The new home for Smith’s Meat and Frozen Food Center was about half a mile from where he was raised.

In addition to selling meat and offering a retail counter where people could buy lunch meats, Smith capitalized on the fact the building he bought had many individual freezers located in the back of the building.

He rented those freezers to people who didn’t have a freezer or who didn’t have enough freezer space at home. People could store their meats or other frozen food products in these lockers regardless of where they bought the products they wanted to store.

“It was convenient for people,” said his son Jack Smith Jr., current owner of Smith’s Deli. “These lockers could hold an entire side of beef.”

The family’s connection to the meat business actually extends back another generation. In 1911, Jack Jr.’s paternal grandfather, Giorgio Esposito, immigrated from Italy through Ellis Island. He settled in Ravenna, Ohio, because of the large Italian community there. Once in Ravenna, Esposito decided to change his name to George Smith.

He became a meat cutter and eventually moved to Columbus, unknowingly laying the foundation for a family business that would morph from selling meats to an Italian restaurant.

The younger Smith started working with his dad at the retail store when he was 11 or 12 years old.

“We lived in Beechwold and I would get on a bus to come down to the store,” he said.. “I worked during the summers starting in grade school and continuing during high school when I delivered meat.

“My dad and I were running the business together by the time I got married in 1978.”

About 1982, the elder Smith formally decided to get out of the meat business. He already had been spending most of his time running an auction business that he founded and his son had been running the meat operation for many years.

At that time, the family made the decision to get out of the meat business.

“We decided to get out of the meat business just because it was time to get out,” said Smith. “Kroger and Big Bear had started carrying quality meats that people could buy cheaper.”

The move into the restaurant business with a focus on Italian food was an easy decision because of the family’s heritage.

“We decided we wanted to sell pizza and keep our menu to basic Italian foods,” said Smith. “We worked on the pizza menu and just went from there. At that time, Pizza Hut hadn’t started delivery. We found our niche and that is where we are at now.”

Sixty years later, it is still a family-run business.

Come see us

3737 North High Street
Columbus, OH 43214