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Gnarly Deli hopes to hold grand opening by end of the year – Chico Enterprise-Record

CHICO — Gnarly Deli is on track to open its very own shop, dude.

The “sammich” shop started as a hot dog cart in November 2016 and then opened a food truck in April 2017. The staff sells at the Thursday night farmer’s market in downtown Chico. Owner Nick Stiles is hoping to have his very own storefront in the basement under Mom’s restaurant on W. 2nd Street by the end of 2021.

“We’re coming along,” Stiles said. “We started a GoFundMe. We’ve had a lot of people from all over, friends and family, random strangers, wanting to help us out. I thought it’d be a nice way bootstrapping from a food truck to a shop.”

So far, the Gnarly Deli GoFundMe page has generated $2600. Stiles’ goal is to reach $10,000. There have been a lot of unexpected costs, such as repairs to the 130-year-old building that the shop will be located in. Previously, the basement held Peekings Restaurant and LaFonda’s.

“It was opened in 1888, we’re trying to give it the love it needs,” Stiles said.

Gnarly Deli needs some more projects finished such as cleaning and for the health department to come inspect the restaurant. Stiles and his staff are trying to save money by doing repairs and learning how to install lights.

Stiles has a staff of about six, plus his cousin, who attends Chico State and whom Stiles has recruited to help with the opening.

One of Gnarly’s signature sandwiches is the baked and loaded, which Sitles said is often confused with an actual baked potato. The sandwich aims to replicate a baked potato with cheese, bacon, ranch dressing, onions and potato chips on tin roof sourdough and wrapped in cheese.

Stiles said it is huge and usually cut in fours for people to share. Stiles says he’s never had a set menu and the sandwiches change depending on the season and “what we feel like making.”

“It’s a sandwich journey,” Stiles said. “It’s fun to experiment and try out different trends and fusions. Every state and country has its own special sandwich which we try to incorporate. I can’t stop coming up with new sandwiches.”

Stiles said he does “covers” for the sandwiches, which is similar to a musician singing their own version of an original song. “I come up with something no one else has done,” he said.

Besides the sandwiches, the 4,000 square foot space will feature a sunken bar originating from LaFonda serving beer and wine. There will also be comedy shows, karaoke and live music. Stiles said he and his staff are trying to beautify the space and add their own decor.

Gnarly Deli has catered for a couple of weddings and have also catered office lunches, that is until the pandemic exploded and most people started working from home. Stiles and his staff took every possible gig for the first couple of years. They also serve at public events and do deliveries. Stiles said he has served at the Sierra Nevada beer camp.

The food truck has been set up at Secret Trail Brewing Company in Chico and Purple Line Urban Winery and Vibe Grill and Pub in Oroville.

The food truck was set up in front of the new storefront Thursday night.

The price point for the sandwiches are between $7 and $17, depending on the sizes and ingredients. Stiles tries to keep costs down by making everything from scratch, which he said improves the quality of the “sammiches.”

Stiles says he does a lot of sitting and thinking about sandwiches and how to create them with the different categories of bread, cheese and meat. He says it’s important to have something crunchy in the sandwiches.

“I love sandwiches of all types,” he said. “I try to go bigger and better with everything.”

For the grand opening, Stiles says he plans to have people waving signs and maybe have a King Kong on the roof. The food truck will most likely be parked in front. “I hope there will be a line going into the street,” Stiles said.

Donations can be made on the restaurant’s GoFundMe page @Gnarly Deli.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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