Owner Steve Swank said, ‘it was ugly in a good way.”
Swank, who runs the popular deli with his family, is continuing the business that originally opened in 1995, serving up the Panther Paw and other deli sandwiches, side dishes, salads and soups.
After selling the former location to a bank, Swank and his family were running a food truck for four months. Swank said they did well and that experience “was exhausting and logistically a nightmare.” He said the family likes to have fun and talk to everyone, but the trailer was impersonal.
But they were still looking for a permanent site to reopen. His friend and customer, Greg Coffman, who owns the Marketplace Express/Marathon, talked about re-opening the deli there.
“I can’t say enough about Greg,” Swank said. “It’s a win-win for both of us. I think we’re going to do all right.”
He said he expects his family deli business will do cross-promoting and marketing with Coffman’s gas station to help
Swank said the reopening of the deli, which includes a 28-seat dining area and carry-out, was a success. He said 75% of his customers are regulars.
“We had 189 transactions and served more than 300 people,” he said. “It was close to one of our best days ever. We’ve been in the community for so long, everybody knows us.”
In a social media post, the deli said the first few weeks are expected to be busier than usual.
When asked why his sandwiches are so popular, Swank said it their consistency in making their products every day. “We’re doing the same stuff I was doing 20 years ago in making our sandwiches,” he said. “That’s a hard job bagging.”
One customer, Larry Woody enjoyed a BLT sandwich on Tuesday.
“I’ve been coming in here for years,” he said. “I was so thrilled about them opening again I couldn’t wait. Everything they have is delicious.”