The owner of two local barbecue restaurants is helping launch a Queen City sandwich shop that aims to open this week.
Mike Hickman, owner of Missouri Mike’s BBQ & More, said he’s working on behind the scenes operations and as a spokesperson for a new venture, Deli Mike’s, which is targeting a June 7 opening at 2040 S. Glenstone Ave. However, Hickman, who’s owned multiple local businesses, including mechanic shop M.D. Hickman Auto & Tire, said his longtime partner Kelsey Strahl and their 12-year-old daughter, Zoey Hickman, are Deli Mike’s owners. The restaurant makes both of them first-time business owners, he said.
“We have obviously played with deli sandwiches in the barbecue restaurants,” he said of Missouri Mike’s locations at 2833 W. Chestnut Expressway and 1724 E. Battlefield Road. “But the problem in my restaurants is it takes up so much space to build them. We just couldn’t do them as often as people wanted.”
Hickman said his plate was too full running his other business pursuits to open a deli. But Strahl, who also works in the accounting department at M.D. Hickman Auto & Tire, was ready to take on the challenge, he added.
“It’s all stuff we’ve proofed as a concept and had great response,” he said of the menu for Deli Mike’s, of which many items have occasionally appeared at the barbecue joints. “But it’s stuff that doesn’t make sense at our current restaurants.”
Hickman declined to disclose startup costs or lease terms with John and Johnson Tan for the 1,400-square-foot shop. He said the space formerly was occupied by SweetNSnow LLC, a Taiwanese shaved ice dessert shop, which shuttered.
Hot and cold sandwiches are on the menu at Deli Mike’s, including options such as Italian beef, Cuban, beef gyro, tuna salad and pepper turkey sub. Pizzas made on either naan bread or cauliflower crust also will be served, as will salads and sides, including loaded potato salad and cole slaw. Sandwich prices will range $8-$14.
The deli plans to employ three upon launch and will only serve lunch, Hickman said.
“For the staff that we have, we’ll take some time for them to learn to serve and have everything running really smooth. Then we’ll add some hours and staff,” he said, adding an expansion to dinner service will depend on demand.
Springfield Business Journal’s 2023 Trusted Advisers event honors 20 businesspeople.