LEAD | The March 28 debut of Big Trout Delicatessen wasn’t quite the curtain-raiser owner Marty Venburg envisioned.
But as soft openings go, business wasn’t bad either, Venburg said.
“We did fairly well,” he said.
Sales of his specialty sandwiches, ice cream and deli meats and cheeses are limited to curbside pickup and delivery as long as social distancing guidelines are in place eliminating public gatherings to help quell the spread of the COVID-19 coronavirus.
In spite of the limitation on use of his dine-in seating, business hasn't been brisk, but steady enough to be encouraging, Venburg said.
“I wouldn’t say we’re a barn burner yet. People seem to be excited about it,” he said.
Big Trout Deli is located at 403 W. Main St., in a building that had been owned since 1934 by the Independent Order of Odd Fellows Lodge in Lead.
Venburg said a corporate opportunity allowed him to purchase the building, with plans for more than the street-level deli.
Work is continuing on a seven-room bed-and-breakfast that Venburg hopes to be ready to accept guests as early as May 1.
The deli menu features specialty brisket and pork tenderloin sandwiches with chips and cole slaw; individual one-meat, one-cheese or two-meat, two-cheese sandwiches and seven flavors of ice cream.
Venburg also offer bulk deli meats and cheese, featuring turkey, ham and roast beef, and more than a dozen varieties of Dimock cheese from eastern South Dakota.
He decided to go with the neighborhood delicatessen model after noting a proliferation of delis while living on the East Coast for 20 years.
“You can go get a hamburger anywhere in this town, but you can’t get deli sandwiches or buy deli meats anywhere. That’s kind of why I opened it,” he said.
Venburg is back on Main Street with the deli, after losing his lease on a fly-fishing and military surplus shop at 209 West Main. He also operates a small trucking company in Lead.
Originally from Manhattan, Kan., Venburg moved to western South Dakota to work in the feed business in Sturgis and Spearfish. He returned to the Black Hills in 2011 after moving with his wife to the East Coast, where he trained race horses.
Big Trout Deli pays homage to Venburg’s love of fly fishing, borne of many hours plying Black Hills streams for wily trout.
Eventually he plans to reopen a fly-fishing outfitter’s shop in the rear of the deli.
“I loved the fly-fishing in the Hills. I always came back to it,” Venburg said.
The deli is open 10:30 a.m. ri 7 p.m., seven days a week. Call 605-920-0465, see his Facebook page or log on to bigtroutdeli.square.site for more information.
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