New deli of­fers NYstyle fa­vorites

Wise Ave. site now open

The Dundalk Eagle - - FRONT PAGE - By NI­COLE RODMAN nrod­man@ches­pub.com Fol­low me on Twit­ter @Nrod­man_Ea­gle

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.

COUR­TESY DELI-ISH

Deli-ish owner/man­ager Eric Op­pel is ready to serve cus tomers at his new Wise Av­enue deli.

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