Bites from the Big Apple: New York Deli to open in Boone

Maggie Watts, Reporter

One New York native is looking to bring authentic food from the Empire State to Boone through a new local restaurant. 

When Kenneth Grieb moved to Boone a year and a half ago to be with retired family members, he immediately noticed the lack of authentic New York deli sandwiches. He decided to open his own restaurant: New York Deli.

“I thought, you know, there’s nothing like this out here — you’ve got Subways and those things, but nothing that could compare to a New York deli sandwich,” Grieb said. 

Grieb designed the deli to make customers feel like they have just stepped out of Boone and into the city. One wall in the restaurant depicts a city skyline, and another is covered in graffiti like you would see catching a train on the subway. 

“You’ll feel like you’re in New York, but the only one that’s gonna have a New York accent is me,” Grieb said. 

The New York Deli menu features a variety of classic New York eats, such as fresh bagels, street-style hotdogs and skyscraper-high sandwiches with meat that will be cut in-house daily.

Grieb aims to support local businesses as much as possible through the deli. Their fresh produce will come from local store Maw’s Produce, which buys from farmers in the area. Sandwiches will be made using all fresh ingredients, and the deli’s meat is from Boars Head, a Brooklyn company.

“I want people to see the produce coming in here fresh every day,” Grieb said.

Grieb prides himself on using natural ingredients and serving large portions. He believes this will set New York Deli apart from other restaurants. 

“I like to say that we have the meat on top of the vegetables, where everybody else has the vegetables on top of the meat,” Grieb said. “We want people to see a nice sandwich. Our sandwiches are definitely bigger than everybody else’s.” 

Grieb says his favorite thing from the deli is the corned beef and pastrami sandwich. 

“It really says it all about New York,” Grieb said. “That, I think, is probably the most popular sandwich that comes out of New York when done right.”

Boone residents like Trish Kanipe are eager for the deli to open. Kanipe, who has lived in Boone for five years, said she is ready for a new local dining option.

“I’m from South Florida, so I’m very familiar with the delis. It’s just so much better than anything we’ve got going on around here,” Kanipe said.

Fern Ellis, a seven-year Boone resident, is looking forward to the fresh ingredients at the deli. Having previously lived in Miami and Los Angeles, she ate at the New York-style sandwich shops frequently and has high hopes for the new deli.

“In my heart of hearts, I wish it would be something like that,” Ellis said. 

Gary Nichols, a sales floor manager at the App State Bookstore, is excited to have an authentic, new experience with food in town rather than having to travel for it.  

“I have never been to New York, and I’ve heard a lot about the delis and how awesome of an experience it’s supposed to be,” Nichols said. “I really like that Boone has such a variety of types of places to eat. It never gets boring up here, and this will just add to it because we don’t have a New York-style deli up here.”

New York Deli will have Italian ice, Dr. Brown sodas, fresh-squeezed lemonade and seasonal milkshakes made with fresh fruit. Grieb is also introducing New York egg cream to Boone, which he thinks can be popular in the High Country.

“It tastes almost like a chocolate soda, and it’s very popular in New York — there’s no actual egg,” Grieb said.

The deli will offer full-time discounts for college students, UPS and other delivery drivers. Police officers will be able to get anything on the menu for $5.

Grieb has been in the food industry for 30 years. He worked as Director of Food and Beverages for Hilton Hotels for 18 years and owned a restaurant consulting business. 

When he moved to Boone, Grieb took on the position of General Manager at Sagebrush restaurant. He formed the New York Deli staff largely from people he worked with at the steak house. In the future, Grieb plans to look for a second location and eventually hopes to turn the deli into a franchise

New York Deli is located at 246-E Wilson Drive in Boone. New York Deli will have a soft opening June 25, and the grand opening will be July 2 and will last through the weekend. The ribbon-cutting July 2 will offer a free box lunch for the first 50 visitors.