It’s not easy to open during a pandemic, but Beach Hut Deli in Santa Cruz is doing its best to gain a foothold and local following.
Recently opening its doors (seven days a week from 10am to 8pm), the franchise is owned by local couple Joe and Marisa DuBois. Joe, a former UCSC men’s basketball assistant coach, and Marisa, a 15-year restaurant industry veteran, wanted to combine their love of good food, sports, and music into the deli. Marisa shares with GT her thoughts on their burgeoning business.
What was it like opening during the Covid-19 pandemic?
MARISA DUBOIS: It was definitely interesting and challenging. We’ve been working on this for quite a while—we were in too far to turn back. We knew it would be a challenge, but we felt like Santa Cruz needed a deli with good vibes and a family-friendly atmosphere. We are parents ourselves. It’s very important for us to be kid-friendly, and we have a great kid’s menu with items like hot dogs, PB&Js, and grilled cheese. Our deli is kind of like a cross between a sports bar and a family spot. We like to look at it as a lunch vacation with reggae music and big screen TVs.
What is your most popular sandwich?
The “Surfing Bird,” which has turkey, bacon, avocado, and cream cheese. A lot of our sandwiches feature cream cheese, avocado, and bacon, and we use only the freshest ingredients from local farms. What sets us apart from other delis is how loaded with fresh ingredients our sandwiches are; they are more filling and a better value. We have lots of vegetarian and vegan options, too. One popular vegetarian sandwich is the Cali Caprese, which has garlic sourdough cheese bread, balsamic dressing, pesto, tomato, jack cheese, and spinach. We really do have something for everyone; it’s a diverse menu for a deli.
What are some of the highlights from the soup and salad menu?
Our Chef Salad is really popular, it has turkey, ham, salami, jack and cheddar cheese, avocado, tomato, onion, peppers and bacon. We have a Buffalo Chicken Salad that has ingredients like bacon, tomato, blue cheese crumbles, and buffalo seasoned chicken. We also have up to eight different soups: Two of our most popular are turkey lasagna and chicken poblano.
381 Soquel Ave., Santa Cruz. 831-431-6921. beachhutdeli.com.