In 1975, a small restaurant business owned by a close family friend of the Mandola’s was placed on the market for sale. With the help of his father, Frank A. Mandola purchased the operation in a busy shopping center on Broadway and Belfort. In October of that year, Mandola’s Deli & Sandwich Shop first opened its doors and began serving up great Italian po’ boys.
In 1977, the Mandola’s Deli on Leeland was opened and operated by Frank’s younger brother Sam. After some years of dual locations Frank sold the deli on Broadway and bought his brother out of the Leeland location. He grew his business from there, adding an expanded menu along with catering services, quickly becoming “the deli” we all know and love today.
In 2008, Frank’s son Joseph joined forces with him after majoring in Hotel and Restaurant Management at the beloved University of Houston. The two quickly came to redefine the meaning of “family business,” inviting every team member and food-eater alike, to be a part of The Deli’s family history.
Every day Frank and Joseph are standing behind the counter personally welcoming each customer, sharing Italian grazie-tude for their visit. The guys behind The Deli are known for filling bellies with great food and great laughs. Sharing a story or two of their latest travels to Italy, or sharing their menu recommendations, The Deli is a trip worth making and a dish worth craving.
At lunch time, The Deli is a sacred gathering place for Frank’s large family. It is common for the tables to be filled with Frank’s cousins, family friends and his children and grandchildren. Countless birthdays, engagements, anniversaries, and milestone celebrations have been celebrated within the walls of The Deli. The memories made there are invaluable to Frank’s story.
The Deli is a very personal joint for people from uptown, midtown, downtown and out-of-town. With its laid-back, family-style, atmosphere, it’s impossible not to enjoy a meal there. Stop in and become a part of their story any day of the week, for good laughs, great spirits, outstanding Italian food, and a wonderful time. Except Sunday. Sunday they golf.