When asked what people want to see more of in Sewickley, the overwhelming response was eateries. It would seem almost everyone is looking for dining options close to home.
Happily, , which opened for business Saturday, fits the bill to grab a bite in town or get something to take home to the family.
The space at 400 Beaver St. has been transformed from a former boutique into a dark, warm and cozy restaurant. The business is open until 7 p.m. so customers have a chance to get take-out or dine after work.
Although it's already open, the official with Mayor Brian Jeffe will be this weekend.
Customers place their orders at a counter from a chalkboard menu filled with selections including hot and deli sandwiches, cut-to-order; antipasta bar; soups; salads; and charcuterie. With vegetarian and vegan options and a children's menu, there is something for just about everyone.
If that were not enough, owner Matt Cuomo said he is working with New York vendors to bring in olive oils, vinegars, pastas, breads and other specialties. There also will be some grab-and-go items and hard cheeses sold by the pound.
Cuomo will continue to spend a lot of time talking to suppliers and importers to see where he can bring value to the customer.
When asked why he decided to open his first business in Sewickley Cuomo said, “Our first criteria were to be part of a community. This was very important to me.
"Conventional wisdom would have you examining traffic counts and population trends, but that wasn't our approach. Small business and the local community go hand-in-hand. When you take it from that approach, it helps to refine your search," he said. "Secondly, we sought to be near local businesses, schools, the and the like. Sewickley met both criteria, but above all we felt Sewickley is and will continue to be a special place and simply wanted to be a part of it.”
The restaurant seats 28. There are two televisions, free wi-fi access and some space allocated for kid-friendly activities. If you are not in a hurry, you are invited to stay as long as you would like. Customers can expect a very unique experience.
Cuomo sees East Coast Sandwiches as a hybrid between an Italian deli, a New York deli and an Italian groceria. All deli products are imported. There are good Italian specialty products that everyone likes but might not have ready access to.
“Our hope is that our customers communicate with us, whether in the store, email or Facebook and Twitter -- that they tell us what they like or dislike and what they may want to see moving forward."
Anyone who is hungry is a target customer: residents, local business owners, hospital workers, school employees, families and anyone else looking for an alternative to the norm.
Cuomo’s said starting his small business “... has certainly been a long process."
"You basically just go through phase by phase. It is warranted to say that everyone, from the officials to our neighboring businesses and the residents, has been great to us. The reception we have gotten thus far has been truly remarkable. In the end, I'll have a place that I can be extremely proud of and that the good people of Sewickley can be proud to have as part of their neighborhood.
"We knew it would be no small task getting ECS up and running, but as my father once told me, 'Nothing worthwhile comes easy.'"
East Coast Sandwiches
Hours: 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Friday; 8:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday; closed Sunday.
Location: 400 Beaver St., Sewickley.