Santoro’s offers a bit of Italy in the West End
They’re offering freshly made sandwiches and imported Italian meats and cheeses, plus fresh baked goods, coffee drinks, a selection of Italian specialties, wine and beer. They’ll be open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays to start (though their hours could change depending on their neighborhood’s needs, co-owner Heidi Ohrtman said Monday morning as a steady stream of customers and well-wishers came through).
Livermore native Ohrtman and Michele “Michael” Santoro, a native of Pietra Cupa, Italy who grew up in Los Angeles, came to Alameda six months ago from Las Vegas after seeing the spot where their deli now sits advertised for sale online. Vegas is a tough place to be in the food business, Santoro said, because you’re competing with the casinos. But the corner the couple ultimately occupied didn’t have any food nearby.
“We just got on a plane, looked at it and thought, ‘What a great town,’ ” said Ohrtman, who relished the chance to be back in the Bay Area.
Ohrtman said the couple spent six months getting the deli ready to serve a community they’ve come to love. And on Monday, local customers and well-wishers who came in to check things out showed that appreciation is a two-way street. (Heck, I got so focused on eating one of their cannoli, which Santoro makes himself, I left without my notebook.)
“I’m so glad to hear there’s a good Italian deli,” one customer said as he walked out the door with some sandwiches.
Santoro’s phone number is 217-8710, or you can fax your order to 217-8711. And they deliver.
In other local business news, I was driving by Abigail, a women’s boutique on Central Avenue, when I noticed a “store closing” sign. They’re not open on Mondays so I wasn’t able to get in touch with Gail King, who has operated the store for almost a decade. Looks like they’re having a big sale, though. They’re at 930 Central Avenue, and you can call them at 749-7114 for store hours.