A new variety of food options are now offered across from East Carolina University’s campus as Pirates Deli, a New York style deli at 810 10th St., opened its doors on Sept. 23 to the community.
Pirates Deli manager Shukri Mubarez said when he and his cousin, who is also his business partner, Akram Mubarez planned the restaurant’s menu, they wanted to offer something new that students do not already have easy access to. He said they wanted to provide a lot of variety on their menu as well so that there would be something for everyone.
The restaurant serves a wide variety of food options including smoothies, juices, sandwiches, burgers, breakfast items, salads and more with prices ranging from around $5 to $10. The store’s hours are 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday to Friday, 8 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Saturdays and 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sundays. Mubarez said people should come out to the restaurant to get a chance to try something new.
“I think we offer something different, you know something unique that they haven’t tried yet and when it comes to food, people get tired of the same things. I understand some people eat the same thing every day but I think when it comes to food, options is a good option,” Mubarez said.
The potential of the restaurant’s location on 10th Street was what initially interested Mubarez and Akram in opening Pirates Deli, Mubarez said. He said he lived in New York City previously and had never considered opening a business in North Carolina.
However, when he heard Mike’s Deli was closing, he and Akram man jumped at the opportunity to open a New York style deli at a location right across from campus on a main city road. He said he is now looking to settle down in Greenville, North Carolina, with his family and enjoy being in a smaller city.
“We thought if we could do what we do up there, north, (we could) do it over here, and especially in front of the campus, I know you know kids like to eat, young people like to eat, and you know you can’t go wrong with food, if you make it right people will come to you,” Mubarez said.
Junior nursing major Catherine Bonventre said after she heard about Pirates Deli on social media, she became interested in trying it out because she wanted to know if the food compared to New York delis, as she is from New York.
“It was good and it looked like something that you could see in New York, like the style of it,” Bonventre said.
Bonventre said she ordered a bacon, egg and cheese sandwich or a “Becky Sandwich” from the deli. She said customers have the option to order sandwiches on a bun, bagel or wrap.
While the employees of Pirates Deli were nice, Boventre said the service was slow.
“We had waited like 35, 40 minutes before we even got our food,” Bonventre said. “I feel like it was just slow service but I also am giving them the benefit of the doubt that they did just open so that could be the reason.”
If she had to compare Pirates Deli to another campus food option, Bonventre said she would compare it to Einstein Bros. Bagels, just with more options.
Bonventre said she would recommend the deli to her friends and found it an affordable option for ECU students to dine out.
“They (Pirates Deli) have tables and stuff, you can sit there and the scenery in there, it just looks like it would be something that college students would go to,” Bonventre said. “It would be something kind of relatively cheap that you would buy on campus if you didn’t have Pirate Bucks.”
Lexi Irwin, freshman psychology major, said she has not personally tried out Pirates Deli yet, but her roommate had recently gotten a breakfast sandwich from the restaurant and said she enjoyed it. She said they live on College Hill, so the convenient location is a big draw for her.
She said she gets tired of eating the food in the dining hall all of the time, so an affordable deli restaurant is definitely something that interests her. She said she is curious about how Pirates Deli compares to the delis she is used to from home.
“Probably just the word deli because I’m from up north so delis at home are like a lot different to the ones down here so I’d probably be really interested to try to see if it's like the one like home,” Irwin said.