Family Deli Hangs Its Hat on High Quality
A Family Affair, located at 23-17 Broadway, opened its doors in 1995.
Business the past few years has been up and down for the Tisi's and their Italian deli on Broadway, but owner Eddie, Jr. believes things are starting to turn around for A Family Affair.
"It was a little rough the last few years," he said, "but everything seems to be kind of stabilizing a little bit. It seems that...the people who have been around, established, they’ll go through ups and downs but then they kind of just come back to life. It kind of weeds out everybody else, that’s what I see."
Adorned with a red awning outside, A Family Affair's white-tiled interior features a colorful chalk menu board and a smattering of New York Yankees memorabilia plastered to the far wall.
The no-frills family-owned deli -- which Eddie, Jr. opened with his parents, Eddie, Sr. and Angela, in 1995 -- focuses on quality above all else.
"We’re old school," Eddie, Jr. said. "We do everything from soup to nuts...that’s what keeps us above everybody else."
The deli, which finished second behind Giovanni's in (201) Magazine's Best Italian Deli survey last year, offers an assortment of specialty sandwiches, paninis, desserts and daily specials in addition to providing catering options.
Rather than following in his parents' footsteps, it was Eddie, Jr., a graduate of the New York Restaurant School who honed his cooking craft at a couple Tribeca eateries, that dragged his parents into the food business.
He said he convinced his father to leave his previous line of work in the printing industry and move into food.
"I talked him into basically going into a deli," said Eddie, Jr., whose Italian roots and lack of interest in working ungodly hours contributed to his decision to open a deli rather than a restaurant. "One thing led to another and then 18 years later, we’re here."
In recent years, he's had to increase prices as the cost of foodstuffs rise, but he said he's learned you can't be afraid to tweak.
"Prices got to go up, but everything’s relative," he said. "I’ve learned that over the years, don’t be afraid of charging. As long as you give them good stuff, that’s the kick."