There’s a void at the Reading Terminal Market.
Delilah’s Southern Cuisine, which has been a soul food staple at the market since 1985, has been shut down due to heavy debt and back taxes.
Owned by chef Delilah Winder, Delilah’s Southern Cuisine was regarded as a Reading Terminal mainstay.
Last summer, Winder filed for bankruptcy under Chapter 11 protection. This past Friday, the U.S. Bankruptcy Court shut down the food stands located in the terminal and 30th Street station. Creditors, including her 30th Street Station landlord Amtrak, petitioned to move the case to Chapter 7, effectively dissolving the business.
Winder did not return calls to the Tribune.
Paul Steinke, general manager, Reading Terminal Market is hopeful that the popular eatery will be back up and running.
“I think everybody here is pulling for Delilah. I refer to her as an icon of the Reading Terminal Market. She has brought a lot of positive attention to the market and has just been one of our more popular vendors of the years,” says Steinke.
“Everybody is rooting for her to work things out and get the store open again soon.”
Winder received national acclaim when Oprah Winfrey hailed her creamy macaroni and cheese as “the best” in the country.
Winder left her career as a business analyst to open her first food stand in the terminal. Over time, she had expanded Delilah’s Southern Cuisine to six stands. In 2000, Winder raised more than $500,000 to launch Bluezette, which was located in Old City.
In 2006, she shared more than 100 of her recipes in a cookbook, “Delilah’s Everyday Soul: Southern Cooking With Style.”
She’s been featured on national television food shows, including Food Network’s “The Best of Southern Cuisine” and CBS’s “Chef On A Shoestring.”
Winder has received various awards throughout the years. She was recognized in 1997 by the city of Philadelphia as Retailer of the Year; the Philadelphia Chapter of the National Association of Women in Business Owners awarded her 1999’s Woman Business Owner award and 2007 brought her the Most Influential African American Leadership Award.