This spring, Berkley will have something to look forward to besides warmer weather: Big Pickles Deli will be opening its doors – and eventually a patio – on Coolidge Highway.
The restaurant, which sports a neon green-and-pink color palette, will use kosher meats and freshly baked bread from Star Bakeries in Oak Park to build its sandwiches.
"We keep everything local," said owner Ahmad Amin, who added that the deli also will offer hot dogs, subs, wraps, vegetarian and gluten-free options, and sliced meats, with corned beef being the specialty.
Prices will range from 99 cents to $6.99, he said.
Star Bakeries' owner Esther Leibowitz said she will provide Big Pickles with a selection of traditional deli breads including sourdough, rye, pumpernickel and other varieties.
"I'm going to teach him how to double-bake them so they get real crispy on the outside and soft on the inside, just like a good sandwich should be," she said. "I'm rooting for him. I think we need a deli right there."
Leibowitz said the partnership came about after Amin stopped by her bakery and they struck up a conversation.
"I was glad that he walked in because sometimes people go to faraway places when you can get it right here," said Leibowitz, whose bakery also provides bread for and Star Deli in Southfield.
Amin said he plans to open "when the weather breaks" and will build a patio with tables, chairs and umbrellas this summer. He will provide customers with free Wi-Fi and also will consider adding a drive-through in the fall, Amin said.
When a friend who is a real estate agent showed him the property, which formerly was occupied by a Taco Bell restaurant, Amin said he knew it would be the perfect place for Big Pickles Deli.
"I liked the area, the quiet neighborhood," he said. "I liked that we are across from the high school from a business perspective."
While work on the restaurant's website and interior continues, its brightly colored exterior already has sparked curiosity in the community.
Amin said he can't take credit for the unique palette.
"My 7-year-old daughter (Natalia) picked the colors," he said with a smile. "Those are her favorites. Her room's like that."
When it opens in the spring, Big Pickles Deli will be open 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m.-8 p.m. Saturday and 10 a.m.-6 p.m. Sunday. Stay tuned to Berkley Patch for a grand opening story this spring, as well as details including the restaurant's phone number and website when they become available.