There’s a bright new building on North Broadway in Lincoln Heights, and it’s filled with beer and deli meat. Taking over the space formerly operated by rotisserie chicken purveyors Chapalita (they’re still running Tacos Chapalita right next door), The Heights Deli & Bottle Shop offers a large selection of local, domestic, and foreign brews, a smaller display of wine, and a take-away deli.
When the impending opening of the new business was first announced on The Eastsider, arguments about gentrification erupted in the comments section (as they do on The Eastsider), and, yes, The Heights does stick out among neighboring businesses like King Taco and Rancho Market. However, owner Vanessa Baek, a Lincoln Heights resident herself, says she’s trying to strike a balance and serve a broad demographic.
“I think it’s going to be a healthy mix, and I think a lot of the clientele is going to be from around the neighborhood—Lincoln Heights, Mount Washington, El Sereno, and Downtown,” Baek says. “I think because we do craft beer, and there’s such a big demand for craft beer, they’ll come. We’re hoping they’ll come from a little farther out, too, just to see the selection.”
Most of that selection consists of single bottles at a wide range of prices. A small bottle of Belgian La Chouffe will run you $4.25 while large 500ml bottles of Erdinger Hefe-Weizen go for a cool $3.65. There are also plenty of canned beers, tall boys included, for under $3. And hoppy beer lovers of every spending level have it made with a big IPA section that includes everything from Great Divide’s Hercules Double IPA out of Denver to El Segundo Brewery’s Blue House IPA. Michiganders will be pleased to know that Bell’s Brewery is also represented.
The deli, which serves Boar’s Head meats and cheeses, doesn’t seem to be going for gourmet status as much as just being a solid local lunch spot. Named after nearby streets, all but one of the sub sandwiches are under $10, and they’re absolutely gigantic. The Lincoln Park Ave., suggested to me by the friendly guy running the register, came on a soft roll stuffed with roast beef, black forest ham, cheese, shredded lettuce, tomato, pickles, red onions, and a healthy dose of brown mustard and mayo. The result was good and sloppy with the only downside being the use of American cheese (which I only find acceptable melted on a burger or a diner grilled cheese). Hot sandwiches, like chicken and eggplant parmesan, meatball subs, and pastrami are also available. Chips are Frito-Lay.
“We’re trying to give people quality meats and quality cheeses and make the sandwiches big and flavorful. We add a special house sauce that we make here. We can do it regular, or we can do it hot and spicy for people that enjoy that,” Baek says.
Baek, who also runs Little Tokyo’s popular Xlixe Pizzeria, is serving pasta and pizza at The Heights too. The marinara is made in-house and so is the dough. Pasta options include Italian-American favorites, like spaghetti and meatballs, mushroom penne, and carbonara. All pizzas are 18 inches, and you can choose from a small list of signature pies or build your own with a list of mostly traditional toppings.
Currently, the hours are 10 a.m.-10 p.m. Monday-Friday and 11 a.m.-10 p.m. Saturday-Sunday.
The Heights Deli & Bottle Shop, 2927 N. Broadway, 323-223-0708.