Christopher Condon introduced reliable, old-planet model Italian sausage — made from scratch just the way his grandfather taught him — to Jacksonville-place dinner tables when he founded Cugino’s Sausage Enterprise four decades ago.
Now, the avid household prepare dinner-turned-sausage entrepreneur is getting ready to supply other mainstays of his near-knit Italian family’s suppers at his new restaurant.
The Southern Italian will be a typical New York-fashion deli and sector with a Southern twist, Condon and deli co-founder Caitlin Zalmanoff lately told the Occasions-Union though renovating an outdated diner place into his aspiration restaurant.
They prepare to open the 45-seat deli by July 1 at 5065 St. Augustine Road in a space previously occupied by Floyd’s Diner, Jax Diner and Bobby’s Lunch Box, Zalmanoff reported.
“I am actually fired up. This is a little something I’ve normally wanted to do,” Condon said of acquiring a spouse and children-oriented cafe presenting excellent, reliable Italian property-cooked foods.
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A previous banker, Condon is a Jameston, N.Y., native whose grandfather was a butcher. Everybody in their massive extended loved ones cooked. Superior meals, household and pals were at the heart of their dwelling.
“I preferred to be a chef back again in the day. And I’m happy I didn’t do it mainly because I figured out from grandma, terrific-grandma, aunts, my mothers and fathers and grandfather, so several tiny factors that have gotten us in this article currently,” he mentioned.
The deli will celebrate the ties that bind family, buddies and the local community.
“We want to be a area wherever you walk in and it is ‘hey, Steve, hey, Joe, hey, Mary’ whichever it may be and they deliver their children and love a superior lunch or meal,” said Condon.
Art not science
“Cooking is an artwork. It’s not a science,” Condon mentioned of understanding to prepare dinner from his dad and mom, grandparents, aunts and uncles. He was in the spouse and children kitchen watching, finding out — and encouraging — cook dinner considering that he was a youngster.
“Me, my brother and my sister ended up all taught by my mom how to make pasta and sauce. Our sauce is all a tiny unique,” he explained of the spouse and children recipes. “A great deal of these recipes, you aren’t heading to obtain them anywhere. It truly is a minimal of this, a small of that and then I like a minor additional of this but you like that.”
All those ordeals sort the foundation of the restaurant’s menu. The Southern Italian will showcase staples from the Condon loved ones desk for generations.
Cugino’s all-pure gourmet very hot, medium and delicate sausage will be featured in various dishes, but there will be much extra on the menu, he said.
“We’re going to have our meatballs, sauce, and at distinct moments, we’ll have selfmade pasta, ravioli, manicotti and other specials, Condon said. “We’ll often have a pot of sauce heading.”
Condon mentioned they will also feature just one of his beloved sandwiches — handmade beef on weck — primarily located in western New York.
“The beef on weck. My mom can make it, and when she will make it, I sit there and take in a few,” Condon explained. He’ll also have on the menu a Chicago-style Italian beef sandwich with two forms of peppers.
50 percent the menu will be New York-style whilst the other half will be Southern-style, such as pulled pork sandwiches.
The deli will offer you sliced-to-order pastrami, corned beef, roast beef, turkey, pepperoni by the adhere, capicola, mortadella and other meats. They’ll be earning bacon in-property as nicely as using tobacco pork for pulled pork and other meats.
A range of home made salads, like potato and coleslaw, also will be in the deli case, Zalmanoff claimed.
Desserts will contain pizzelle — conventional Italian waffle cookies — cannolis and a range of cookies and other seasonal sweet treats.
“We you should not want individuals to believe it can be likely to be particularly like a New York deli, Zalmanoff said. “We want them to know it will have some Southern twists and be a small distinctive.”
The deli’s 2,000-square-foot backroom will turn out to be dwelling to Cugino’s Italian Sausage Co., which was founded by Condon and his cousin Jason Agate in 2017. The handcrafted Italian sausage is offered in at least 19 Winn-Dixie supermarkets all through the Jacksonville location and served at a number of dining places.
Compact companies enable one a further
Specialty food items and spices from Jacksonville-spot producers will get heart phase in a small market place within the deli.
Zalmanoff claimed amongst the products they are arranging to carry are Bee Close friends Farm honey, Dilly Dallies Spices and Sauces as perfectly as spices from Avondale’s All Spiced Up. In addition, Condon explained they will be receiving fresh new Italian breads from Village Bread & Bagels bakery, which is generating the specialty kimmelweck rolls for The Southern Italian.
“We want to aid area compact businesses, so we’re only heading to carry community things,” she stated.
Condon claimed Cugino’s was keeping its head earlier mentioned drinking water. But without the need of the assist of other small businesses, in particular neighborhood brewpubs, the firm could possibly not have survived the COVID-19 pandemic.
Right after the obligatory business enterprise shutdown was lifted, the brewpubs enable Cugino’s set up their food stuff cart and provide sausage sandwiches exterior people establishments.
“We made unbelievable associations with so numerous smaller business enterprise proprietors like that. I can’t repay them. … It was small organization encouraging little business enterprise keep open up,” Condon reported.
“There have been just so a lot of amazing folks, just hoping to make it as a result of, and we all just banded jointly,” Condon stated. “I acquired to tell you, there were being some rough days, rough months, tricky months but it is June 2021 and we designed it and we expanded.”
At first, The Southern Italian will be open 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday by means of Friday.