Steve Crandall and his wife Eunice Kim are giving new life to the restaurant at 2515 Far Hills Ave that closed at Cooper’s Deli back in October. Oakwood Mayor Bill Duncan welcomed the small crowd of community leaders at the official ribbon cutting ceremony, sharing that Oakwood needed Flyboys Deli. Duncan pointed out that downtown Oakwood is really working at helping assist small businesses succeed. He shared with enthusiasm that they’ve added new parking, not only with the public lot across the street, but there are added spots on the side of the building as well as parking behind.
Mr Crandall then acknowledged Dan Apolito and Mike Fullenkamp for getting the deli started, and his banker for helping him to buy the deli from them. He explained that changes he’ll be making will make them more successful then their predecessors. He shared 3 key points that will differentiate Flyboys Deli. First their concept- they’ll be a traditional New York style deli, where you order from the menu, as opposed to the table service Coopers tried. He was also quick to point out that the prices will be about 30% less and the menu much more extensive. They’ll also be open Mon – Sat at 7:30am so you can start your day off with a bagel, breakfast sandwich and Boston Stoker coffee. He then pointed out that as a newcomer to Dayton, he’s realized in his four years here, that Dayton is a city of invention and innovation. He’s been inspired by the history of the town and loves to share those tidbits with former Air Force buddies. Crandall is a retired Colonel and currently works as a VP at SAIC, a firm that specializes in national security, health, energy and cybersecurity.
He points out the “Did You Know” wall in the deli that will highlight many of the region’s inventions. He said “the deli is a work in progress, we have some empty walls on purpose. We want the community to bring us more innovative things to help fill in the blanks on the walls and help us build on the success of Dayton. I never realized how much small business plays into a community’s success and I sure want to be a part of that.” Many of the items on the menu are named after area inventions, like The Starter – a shareable plate of cheeses, pastrami, salami and crackers or the Liberty Reuben- named after the Statue of Liberty as well as the Liberty engine developed right here in Dayton. He then explained that the entire second floor decor will celebrate the region’s aviation heritage.
Crandall then beamed as he mentioned the other key to Flyboys success will be his wife. Eunice’s experience as a restaurateur goes way back. She used to own a Blimpie’s franchise and together they also currently own Akashi Sushi Bar, which may explain the the California roll on the menu. Eunice said that The Flyer Roll, with ham, turkey, cheese, cucumber, carrot, green pepper, avocado, sprouts and lettuce is her favorite. She went on to say that she’s “excited to share her own idea’s and recipes after years of following the franchise rules of Blimpie.” Many of their sandwiches will be served on bread baked for them by neighborhood favorite Ashley’s Pastry Shop. Ms. Kim suggested that the Hot Paninis should be on our must taste list. She also told us to expect some international nights, celebrating her Korean heritage, Sushi nights to bring in their other restaurant, and even Mexican nights, inspired by one of the cooks she hired. She also envisions family fun nights, perhaps showing aviation inspired films on the second floor party room and even puppet shows. You’ll be able to reserve the second floor for private parties (it seats about 35) with a minimum food purchase. Flyboys Deli has 15 employees and hopes that business will demand they hire more. For more info or to find out what beers are on tap or what the daily specials are follow them on Facebook or Twitter.