Gary Gigliotti took an unusual approach to promoting the grand opening of Deli on Butler Street: He did nothing at all to tell anyone about it.
That way, he figured, if things didn't work out at his new Lawrenceville eatery, at least no one would know.
"I was so nervous," says Gigliotti, who previously managed Mario's, on the South Side. "I was so afraid I was going to fail."
But since the deli's November opening, he says with a smile, "We're doing really well."
Gigliotti's family-run deli serves everything from specialty sandwiches and panini to homemade soups and potato salad.
Inspired by his father, Pasquale, Gigliotti decided to open Deli on Butler Street after 20 years of working in bars. "I used to bitch to my father about how much I hated it," he says. And whenever he did, his father always encouraged him to open his own deli.
And after Pasquale passed away in 2006, Gigliotti decided it was time to heed his dad's advice. Athough his old man is no longer around, Gary believes Pasquale is still playing a part in the deli's success.
"We always say it's like my dad is watching over us," Gigliotti says, "because everything we do seems to turn out perfectly."
Like the sandwich named after his father. The Pasquale, stacked high with roast beef, smoked ham and turkey, and cheeses, is a delicious mouthful. Its special sauce -- created by Gigliotti's nephew and made with ketchup, mayonnaise, oregano, salt and pepper -- is a subtly sweet substitute for straight mayo.
Even more creative is the Cobb sandwich, loaded with chicken breast, blue cheese, bacon, egg and avocado. "[Customers] are crazy for this," says Gigliotti, whose personal favorite is the Tutti (Italian for "everything"), a hoagie stacked with practically every lunch meat you can imagine.
In addition to serving sandwiches, panini and wraps, the deli also sells lunch meat by the pound, homemade pies and pre-made salads. (And yes, they also cater.)
"Every month we've been here, [business] has gotten better," says Gigliotti. "Word is getting out."
Maybe that's not such a bad thing anymore.
4034 Butler St., Lawrenceville