BOONE — When Ken Grieb moved to the High Country a year-and-a-half ago, he wanted to put his 30 years in the food business to use, but said he could not find the right fit.
“No one would hire me, they all said I was too experienced and they were afraid I would take their job,” said Grieb, who spent 18 years as the Director of Food and Beverage for Hilton Hotels.
Grieb settled on running his own show, and the New Yorker wanted to bring the taste of Brooklyn to the area. Thus, he’s starting the New York Deli in Boone.
“The meats are Boar’s Head, the bagels are being shipped directly from New York, the bialy’s are directly from New York and Brooklyn,” Grieb said. “All of our mustards are Coney Island mustards.”
Grieb is combining the flavors of his home with locally-sourced produce, and paper goods from local businesses.
“I’m trying to not buy anything from the big companies, I want to support local businesses,” Grieb said.
The menu will be filled with a variety of heroes, Kaisers and other New York classic sandwiches. Grieb said that while the plan is to open on June 15, the first few weeks will be a soft opening as staff get acclimated and work out any issues.
“I want the staff to be able to pick up their speed,” Grieb said. “We could get people that are on lunch breaks for a half-hour, they could order online and abruptly come to us off of our website. So, when they get here it’s ready. We’re trying to make it easy for everybody.”
Grieb said the plan is to have online ordering along with delivery through Boone Takeout, DoorDash and Grubhub.
With so much already planned out, Grieb said he is feeling great about opening and the future of the restaurant.
“I feel awesome about it, I think this is something that nobody’s got around here,” Grieb said. “We have ‘Empire State sandwiches’ that two people could share, it’s like a half-pound of meat.”
At the same time, Grieb noted the location, formerly used by Which Wich, was very appealing to him.
“You have people going to the mall, college students, (the location is) great,” Grieb said. “Of all the places I looked at, this was the best location.”
With the intersection of a variety of people, and the restaurant’s location in the middle of town, Grieb said he wanted to give back to the community through discounts.
“College students are going to get 30 percent off, because they don’t have the money,” Grieb said. “We’re making sure everyone can afford it. I mean, we’re giving UPS and delivery drivers discounts. Then, for the police department, fire department and all of those guys, $5 and they can have anything on the menu they want.”
An additional benefit was inheriting all of Which Wich’s equipment, $40,000 worth of sandwich-making gear that Grieb bought for less than half of the cost.
New York Deli will be located at 246-E Wilson Drive in Boone. For more information, go to www.facebook.com/NYDeliNC or call (828) 386-6006.