Dudley's Deli in Santee -- a spinoff of the popular Dudley's Bakery in Julian -- has abruptly shut its doors, leaving many residents surprised.
The Santee deli, located on Town Center Parkway, was popular among locals. It opened about four years ago, selling sandwiches as well as famous, fresh-baked Dudley's bread and other goodies from the bakery located much further east.
Dudley's Bakery, the Julian staple, was founded in 1963 by the late Mr. Dudley Pratt. Pratt died 10 years after establishing the bakery in 1973, according to the company website.
The Santee Dudley's Deli was owned and operated by Brunye family. Barry Brunye told NBC 7 the eatery was owned by his son, Evan Brunye.
"He owned the Santee and Kearny Mesa locations," Brunye said. "It's a lot more expensive in San Diego than Julian, which is why he first sold the Kearny Mesa location, and now the Santee location."
The good news is the signature Dudley's in Julian isn't going anywhere, Brunye said. Business in Julian is still going strong, he added, and he has no intention of selling it to anyone else.
"We've been here for more than 50 years," Brunye said. "We're not going anywhere."
NBC 7 spoke with Evan Brunye over the phone. He said he did not want to comment on why he sold Dudley's in Santee just yet.
He also would not comment on whether or not he plans to open any future Dudley's in other locations.
For now, a large sign has been placed over the Dudley's Deli entrance alerting of a new Mexican restaurant moving into the space.