Celebrated Burbank deli owner dies at 77

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Thomas Huber and father, Otto, who founded Otto's Import Store and Delicatessen in Burbank. (Roger Wilson/The Leader)

Otto Huber, the founder and 40-year owner of Otto’s Import Store and Delicatessen, died of natural causes at his Burbank home. He was 77.

Burbank Police Sgt. Robert Quesada confirmed Huber’s passing Thursday morning after officers found no signs of foul play at his home in the 400 block of N. Brighton St.

Remembered by friends and family as a gregarious shopkeeper and devoted father, Huber was among the last remaining holdouts from a bygone era where family run businesses were the norm.

Accordion in hand, Otto serenaded generations of residents, introducing them to European fare. Among his loyal customers were John Burroughs High School students, some of whom joined an online fan page called “OTTO’S DELI/BURBANK.”

The Facebook group includes messages such as “And on the way home from Lincoln each day…” and “Daily lunch from ’81-’84. Ham and cheese with extra mayo. I am not down that way often, but stop in every time I am.”

Founded in 1969 by Huber and his wife, Irma, the deli began an old- fashioned corner grocery store. The Hubers then began to incorporate specialty foods for family and friends.

In the late 1990s Huber officially ceded ownership of the popular market at 2320 W. Clark Ave. to his son, Thomas, who had returned to the business full-time after his mother died in 1993.

“Where else can I spend 40 hours a week with my father?” Thomas Huber told the Leader in 2003. “Nowhere.”

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Written by Christopher Cadelago

October 8, 2009 at 2:28 pm

Posted in Public Safety

Tagged with ,

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