A new Italian deli has opened in Birmingham — and it’s located inside Ore Mercantile, a micro-retailer offering men’s and women’s clothing, home accessories, and locally sourced items. The large store in Avondale expanded its space late last year and added Ore Deli & Bodega, offering deli sandwiches, fresh-made sides, and takeaway goods like meats, cheeses, snacks, drinks (they’ll be adding beer and wine in February), and a limited number of grocery items. Walk through racks of clothing and tables displaying local goods to the back of the store, where you’ll see a deli counter, shelves stocked with dry goods, and drink coolers lining the wall.
The menu for Ore Deli is straightforward but well executed. Choose from a variety of hot panini-like sandwiches or cold deli sandwiches. The Avondale sandwich is a nod to its neighborhood and features mortadella, capicola, provolone, shredded lettuce, tomato, red onions, balsamic vinegar, olive oil, and a house-blended Italian herb seasoning. The namesake Ore sandwich is hot pressed and includes smoked turkey, swiss, shaved onions, and honey bourbon barbecue sauce.
Millennials will love what’s called the “Lunchable” on the menu, a throwback to a favorite childhood school lunch. This customizable snack lunch includes 1/4 pound of meat, 1/4 pound of cheese, 1/4 pound of olives, and crackers. Grab sides to take home for later, including Italian green beans, marinated mozzarella, pasta salad, and more, all sold by the 1/2 pint, pint, or quart. And don’t forget a cannoli for dessert!
A smattering of tables inside the mercantile allows for socially distanced dining in, or you can take your sandwich to go. Pro tip: a 6-inch sandwich is more than enough (they’re huge!), but if you want a meal for now and a meal for later, go for the 12-inch. And if you’re REALLY daring, they offer a 24-inch sub! In case you’re doing the math, that’s two feet of goodness.
When you’re done with your sandwich, browse Ore Mercantile’s non-food offerings. The shop is arranged by vendor, and you’ll find booths for Original Bham, Faith Skate, Filson, Deep Creek Trading Co., Boho Vintage, and more. Other curated items also are sprinkled around the store. Alabama Peanut Company even holds real estate in Ore with a “snack bar.”
The shopping center on Fourth Avenue South that Ore Mercantile is located in has recently undergone a revamp. Its neighbors include Puerto Rican restaurant Tropicaleo, the relocated Seasick Records, and newly-opened kombucha taproom of Harvest Roots Ferments.
Julia Sayers Gokhale is a writer and editor who has been working in the lifestyle journalism industry since 2012. She was Editor in Chief of Birmingham Magazine for five years and is now leading Yellowhammer News’ lifestyle content. Find her on Instagram at @juliasayers or email her at firstname.lastname@example.org.