Old World Nuances With An Edge On Hertel
Joe's Deli is part of a new generation of businesses on Hertel that are helping Buffalo to turn the corner. Meet Joe (photo), a young guy whose aspirations and dreams are to be part of a commercial strip that is dedicated to maintaining old world sensibilities with a new world mindset. "I'm filling some pretty big shoes", Joe says of his aspiring business. "Mastman's was a neighborhood institution... now we're here to serve good food to a new generation of Buffalonians. I had a customer in the other day who told me that I am the fourth owner (in the location) that she has met who intended on running a deli... and each owner was in business for around twenty years. She said that I was by far the youngest owner yet!"
Young entrepreneurs seem to be taking our commercial districts by storm. They're adding a dynamic to the street that we have not seen in the city for a long time. Business owners like Joe are aware that there are people living in Buffalo who appreciate tradition, though they are also open to new ideas. "I kept a few regular menu items on the menu to cater to the devoted Mastman's customers. But for the most part I took recipes from my chef friends from around Buffalo to compile the menu. If you look at the board you'll see that many of the items are named after these local chefs... as well as friends and family members."
Joe had been looking at locations all over the city before he settled on the Mastman's corner. "The second I walked in and walked over to the window I knew this was the place. There was something about it... and it had seating for thirty customers plus there was a forty car lot. When I finished with the renovations I had cleared four dumpsters worth of 'stuff' out of the deli. It was a big job, but thanks to a loan from the BERC we pulled it off and turned the space into a business that I could be proud of. I wanted something that was modern, but not annoying. This past Saturday we had a line of people all the way down the counter. I kept on looking out from inside the kitchen knowing that we were on to something."
Joe has been researching local bakers, dessert makers, etc. He wants to support the community that will be supporting him for years into the future. And what could be better than goods that come from the neighborhood? His menu offers a 'make your own salad', soups, and pile high (build your own) sandwiches. His specialty sandwiches include a muffaletta, a Reuben and a Jimmy's Cuban. Joe's offers wraps, breakfast sandwiches and coffees (of course) for people on the go. Take-out and catering are two services that Joe has incorporated into the eatery, and he even wants to see the patio installed for the fall season.
Joe's Deli recently opened and Hertel is all the better for it. Swing on by to check out the menu. They're open from 7am-7pm Monday through Friday. Saturdays 7am to 4pm. The phone number is 716-875-JOES. Located at 1322 Hertel, corner of Colvin.