COLUMBIA, S.C. (WIS) - Word spread quickly Friday of the passing of Andy Shlon, the owner of Andy’s Deli in the Five Points neighborhood of Columbia.
A staple for many in the city, Shlon ran the deli with his family.
He was 79 when he passed away, his family said.
When WIS went by the restaurant on Friday morning, a note on the door said it was closed due to a family emergency. Employees of nearby businesses consoled each other as they started their day.
“Whether you knew Andy for decades or were meeting him for the first time he always treated everyone with the same warmth and compassion,” the Five Points Neighborhood Association posted on Facebook. “Five Points will never be the same and Andy will be forever missed.”
Columbia City Councilman Moe Baddourah is the nephew of Shlon.
He issued a statement about his uncle’s passing:
“Just over 40 years ago, at the age of 16, I left my home country of Lebanon to move here to Columbia to be with my uncle, Andy Shlon, in this City that he so dearly loved.
“Today, just as many of you feel the impact of losing him, my family and I are heartbroken.
“Andy loved Columbia. He was a friend to everyone that came into Andy’s Deli.
“Andy was dedicated to this City, to its’ citizens, to the University of South Carolina, to education, to young people, and to the many organizations and issues he passionately advocated for during his lifetime.
“What Andy loved more than anything was his family. Please keep my Aunt Carole, their sons Andy Jr. and Adam and their grandchildren in your thoughts and prayers in the coming days.
“His dedication and his service to our City will never be replaced or forgotten.”
Sen. Lindsey Graham also tweeted his condolences on Friday, saying he was a regular at the deli.
No one has publicly shared how Shlon died.