Lehighton's lunch crowd has a new option for its midday meal. Otto's PitStop Deli on South First Street is one of the borough's newest eateries, and is looking to corner the market on affordable, freshly-made sandwiches.
"Our goal is to offer people a clean establishment and delicious food," co-owner Phillip Otto said. "We want to give locals a healthier option for lunch than fast food."
Although Otto and his wife Kimberly, both lifetime residents of Lehighton, first opened the deli in April, the couple dreamed of starting their own business for years. He claims that the closing of longtime local favorite Marshall's Meat Market afforded him the opportunity to corner the market on homemade hoagies.
"My wife and I love to cook," Otto said. "When a friend told us that this real estate was available, we knew that it was perfect opportunity to combine our personal interests with our goal of owning our own business."
The deli uses Boar's Head meat and cheese products in its sandwiches, and also sells the full range of lunchmeats by the pound. Hot sandwiches and soups are also available.
However, Otto conceded that his eatery's secret weapon is its bread, which is shipped in daily from Brooklyn, N.Y. Late breakfasters can also treat themselves to authentic Brooklyn bagels.
But freshness and taste aren't Otto's only concerns. Price plays an equally important role.
With the deli's daily lunch special, patrons receive a Boar's Head sandwich, their choice of potato salad, macaroni salad or cole slaw, chips, a pickle and dessert, all for under $4.
"Our lunch special is one of the best around," Otto said. "We offer people more for their money than any other place. No one can compete with that."
This mindset seems to be paying off, as Otto has noticed a significant increase in his clientele during the past four months. Nearby businesses, he claims, are his most loyal customers.
"In a small town, there's plenty of opportunity to open a business like this," Otto said. "We just want people to come in and try us out."
Otto's PitStop deli is open Monday through Friday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Orders can be placed over the phone at (610) 377-6200 or in person at 191 South First Street. Businesses are welcome to fax their orders to (610) 377-6203.
The establishment is also available to cater small parties or meetings.