Dayton, Ohio (WDTN) – You won’t find frills at Charlie’s Deli and Catering. The 55-year-old german-style deli anchors Troy Street, near Hart Street, in the Old North Dayton neighborhood.
The namesake’s family owned and operated the business from 1964 until Chris Raney and his mother Pat Jones took over in April 2018. The new owners plan to preserve the deli’s character.
“I want to keep Charlie’s as Charlie’s. That’s what the neighborhood knows. That’s what the neighborhood’s lived with all its life. And that’s what I want to keep,” Pat Jones said.
Raney never had professional training as a chef, but worked for years as a cook at restaurants and Wright Patterson Air Force Base. He took the leap into business ownership when he heard Charlie’s owners wanted to retire.
“He was talking about closing it down and I knew that probably wasn’t what people wanted, so I thought, you know, what the heck,” Raney said.
Raney knew expectations were high from Charlie’s loyal customer base. That’s why he’s keeping all of the classic menu items and best sellers, like cabbage roles and the deli sandwich selection. The experienced cook decided to add a breakfast menu and some new signature items.
“Obviously we’re trying to keep things the same, but also want some of myself here. Slowly I’m starting to add things,” he said.
The new owners are repairing and renovating the building, while still maintaining its old-school style. They’re also hoping to expand the catering side of the business and currently offer deliveries for large orders.
Raney said he would eventually like to open another Charlie’s location, but he invites anyone skeptical of the new ownership to try the original shop.
“It’s Old North Dayton, don’t be scared,” he said. “Everyone’s nice, believe me.”
You can find Charlie’s Deli and Catering at 429 Troy Street in Dayton. It’s open 8 a.m.- 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, but hours may soon be extended.