New deli offers NYstyle favorites
Wise Ave. site now open
A new local business is offering New York-style cuisine right here in our hometown.
Deli-ish, at 700 Wise Ave., opened its doors on June 9; the business will celebrate its grand opening this weekend.
The locally-owned and operated eatery is run by owner/ manager Eric Oppel and coowner Peter Dilutis.
Deli-ish is the latest step in Oppel’s nearly 20-year career.
He got started in the business working at Attman’s Deli in Baltimore in 1998. He worked his way up to manager before establishing his own deli, the Corned Beef Factory, in Highlandtown in 2010. He opened a second location in Cockeysville in 2012.
Following this venture, Op- pel switched gears, establishing Maryland Live Casino’s deli, Morty’s. By the time he left, he was senior outlet manager of five restaurants at the casino.
Now, Oppel is back to doing what he loves best in a town that he has called home.
“I just wanted to do my own thing,” he told the Eagle. “I wanted to get back.”
A native of Highlandtown, Oppel has lived in Dundalk, coached football and has family and friends in the community.
“I have a lot of connections with the area,” he said.
In fact, when he decided to open a new deli, he immediately knew Dundalk was the place.
“There was nothing like this around,” he said, noting that Dundalk has no other New York-style delis.
The restaurant’s location on Wise Avenue, he explained, puts it “smack dab in the middle of Dundalk” with proximity to Sparrows Point, Dundalk Avenue and Merritt Boulevard.
Deli-ish is located at the former site of Zam Zam, a Middle Eastern-style eatery. As such, the location required some significant redecorating to transform it into a New York-style deli.
The building itself underwent some major renovation as well.
“We did a good amount of rehab,” Oppel said, noting that they replaced the ceiling, floor and counters and installed new electrical systems.
The décor includes booths, brushed steel chairs and industrial-style lighting and ceilings, for what Oppel calls a “laid-back” feel.
According to Oppel, the uniqueness of the restaurant, along with the atmosphere, staff and food, sets Deli-ish apart.
“The staff is very interac- tive with customers,” he explained, noting that employees will offer suggestions and samples for customers deciding what to order.
And when it comes to the food, Oppel noted, everything — from the coleslaw to the potato salad — is made from scratch.
As for the menu, Deli-ish offers what Oppel calls “the big three” — corned beef, pastrami and briske — as well as “fun and exciting” combination sandwiches.
Many of the sandwiches have local names, from the Logan Villager (cheesesteak in honor of Captain Harvey’s) to the Wise Avenue Special (roast beef, turkey and ham on a kaiser roll).
They also offer traditional New York deli favorites, like the reuben.
So far, Dundalk has come out in force to welcome the new addition.
“We’ve been off to a great start,” Oppel noted.
“We’re really thankful for the support we’ve had from the community.”
For more, visit Deli-ish on Facebook or at www.delibaltimore.com.
Deli-ish owner/manager Eric Oppel is ready to serve cus tomers at his new Wise Avenue deli.