Bruno's Little Italy
co-owner Gio Bruno
has signed a lease with Doyle Rogers' Dundee Holding Co. for a slim storefront delicatessen at 308 Main St. The delicatessen would be separated from Bruno's Little Italy, at 310 Main St., by the hallway entrance to the Mann Lofts above the restaurant.
Prep for dinner at Bruno's has proved too time consuming for the restaurant to offer lunch, Bruno said, and besides, people like to linger over an Italian meal, rather than scarf it up and return to work. So he plans to offer Italian sandwiches at lunchtime from the deli, which would have a window on the street for walk-up service, "like a food truck." The deli will also have a shelf along one wall inside with eight bar stools for limited eat-in, and will stock grocery items such as meat and cheese by the pound and gourmet Italian pasta, sauces, olives, capers and other items.
On the lunch menu: He's thinking meatball, sausage, veal parmigiana and eggplant parmesan sandwiches, and soups and salads. Folks will be able to eat their takeout on the patio in front of Bruno's in good weather. He's still thinking about whether to offer individual pizzas, since he doesn't like serving pizza by the slice, which he said requires reheating and toughens the dough. Besides, he added, there are plenty of places to get pizza downtown, as well as at Capeo's across the river.
Bruno's also thinking about offering beer and wine, but said the deli will be too small inside and Arkansas law would not allow people to carry a beer or glass of wine on the sidewalk between the deli's door to Bruno's Little Italy patio, which is licensed for alcohol. I suggested a tunnel from the deli to the patio.
The deli will have an awning like Bruno's Little Italy to indicate the connection in ownership. Architect is Greg Peckham of Odom, Peckham Architecture. Central Construction, which built the restaurant, is the builder. Bruno's hopes to have the deli open by late November or early December.