Future Big Belly Deli

The Village Deli, 8929 Durand Ave. in Sturtevant, which closed Jan. 31, is proposed to become Big Belly Deli under new owners Saul Ortiz Puebla and his wife, Melissa Ortiz.

STURTEVANT — The deli inside Village Food & Liquor Mart in Sturtevant could soon be reopening under new ownership as Big Belly Deli, pending final approvals.

The Sturtevant Planning Commission on March 14 recommended giving a conditional-use permit to operate a deli and carryout food business to Saul Ortiz Puebla and his wife, Melissa Ortiz. Ortiz, who graduated in December with a nursing degree, said the business will primarily be her husband’s, but she is helping him get it started.

Ortiz said her husband, a Mexico native, has been cooking in local restaurants for the about 11 years, including at the former Olympic Family Restaurant, 8609 Durand Ave., in Sturtevant; Castlewood Restaurant, 2811 Wisconsin St., in Sturtevant; and Douglas Avenue Diner, 5121 Douglas Ave., Caledonia.

Ortiz Puebla has been wanting to start his own restaurant, said Ortiz, who works part-time as a cashier at Village Food & Liquor Mart, 8929 Durand Ave. She said the last deli there closed Jan. 31.

Ortiz said the business name comes from the fact that she sometimes calls their daughter, Isabella, “Bella” or sometimes “Belly.”

The couple are still working on the menu, which is far from settled, Ortiz said. But they expect to offer hot and cold sandwiches, omelettes, wraps, grab-and-go submarine sandwiches, half-pound burgers, salads, soup, appetizers and Mexican foods: steak and chicken tacos, burritos, enchiladas and chimichangas.

Prices are not determined yet, but Ortiz said the food will be affordable.

Big Belly Deli is scheduled to be open 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. on Sunday. The couple are waiting for Village Food’s owner to acquire new kitchen equipment and a deli counter and hope to open their deli about the end of April or early May.

In the meantime, they are having a new sign made which will be mounted to the outside of the building.

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Michael "Mick" Burke covers business and the Village of Sturtevant. He is the proud father of two daughters and owner of a fantastic, although rug-chewing, German shepherd dog.

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