Just one year after the much-publicized reopening of its “Fulbeli Deli,” longtime East Side grocery store/bodega Koppa’s is for sale. A short-and-sweet “Koppas is for sale” message (since deleted) was posted to one of Koppa’s Facebook pages Monday afternoon. One of the current owners of Koppa’s confirmed the store’s for-sale status to Milwaukee Record.

For decades after it opened in 1982, Koppa’s was known and loved for its kitschy decorations, its funky taxidermy, its in-house Atari 2600 game station, and, most importantly, its deli. The Hodag. The Obi-wan Bologna. The Bread “Farve.” An entire galaxy (Mars, Saturn, etc.) of other sandwiches. Those deli selections—dubbed the “World’s Best Sandwiches”—were good.

Until they weren’t. Ownership changes in the 2000s and 2010s marked the beginning of a slight but noticeable decline for Koppa’s sandwiches. Vern Koppa sold the store to his son Ken and business parter Peter Schmidt in 2003. In 2013, Koppa’s was sold to Krishveer, LLC. Four years later, Taylor Tiwari and her family—the current owners—took over operations.

Then came the pandemic. It wasn’t until 2023 that Koppa’s fully reopened its deli and reintroduced its “World’s Best Sandwiches.” And, incredibly, those sandwiches were once again good.

Until they weren’t. Trips to Koppa’s in 2024 have been marked by sporadic sandwich quality and depressingly bare shelves. The title of a recent Reddit post, “Koppa’s is really bumming me out, man,” says (and shows) it all.

We’ll have more information on the sale when it becomes available. Until then, let’s all start saving our pennies so we can eventually chip in and buy Koppa’s! Or at least buy that totally sweet Atari setup.

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Koppa’s reopened deli: The Milwaukee Record Review

Coming soon: The glorious return of Koppa’s deli

Mandatory Milwaukee: Koppa’s combines tasty sandwiches, taxidermy, Atari

About The Author

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Co-Founder and Editor

Matt Wild weighs between 140 and 145 pounds. He lives on Milwaukee's east side.