Night owls seeking a chicken parmesan in the wee hours of the morning can now fly farther than Broadway to satisfy their primal hunger.
College Convenience & Deli, the family-owned, one-stop market on College Street across from the Shubert Theater, recently changed its name from College Convenience following the addition of a grill and deli service in August of this year.
The store, owned and operated by Joe Makhraz, has been open for the last two years, but the full-service deli and grill were added as part of an extensive renovation project. The business has also extended its hours and is now open from 6 a.m. to 3 a.m. seven days a week.
In an effort to attract new customers, College Convenience & Deli is offering a 20 percent Yale student discount on all deli and grill items until the end of October. Makhraz said he is trying to fill a noticeable void in dining options, especially those of the late-night variety, around the Yale campus.
“I felt that when I added the grill and the deli, it would give students a place to go to get a sandwich or maybe some soup,” he said.
The menu at College Convenience & Deli extends beyond gourmet sandwiches and homemade soups to omelets, quesadillas and burritos. Makhraz said the expanded array of options includes healthy alternatives like soy ice cream and organic pizza.
This culinary diversity owes in no small part to the inspiration of Mario Portillo, a former chef at Union League Cafe who now serves as the head chef at College Convenience & Deli.
Despite its relative youth, the deli has already attracted a fair number of regular patrons, among them Randy Borovsky, who works as the station manager of CT Ultra Radio, located next door. Borovsky cited Portillo as one of the deli’s main advantages.
“The things he makes you won’t find at a regular place,” Borovsky said, adding that while most delis offer chicken breast sandwiches, relatively few offer the more exotic Chicken Victoria.
Borovsky added that the store’s prices easily beat those of the local competition. A turkey club sandwich with fries at the Copper Kitchen costs seven dollars; at College, the price is $4.72. The deli’s footlong turkey sub meal undercuts Subway’s by $2.20.
Students are already beginning to take advantage of the new eatery.
“It’s very convenient, pretty affordable, much cheaper than Gourmet Heaven, and — a good place for late-night, cheap eating,” said Seth Nadler ’05.
Makhraz said he is doing good business, but it comes at a cost. He said he puts in between 80 and 90 hours of work a week at the store, despite having a wife and three children at home.
“My youngest daughter, Raphaela, seven months old, came by to visit her father yesterday,” he said. “[You] make sacrifices for business.”
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