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MASON CITY — John and Pam Nardi are bringing “a taste of Chicago” to Mason City.

When their State Street Deli opens Wednesday on the ground floor of the Brick & Tile Building, patrons will enjoy a deli operated “the old-fashioned way,” said John Nardi.

“We’ll have freshly made sandwiches with the meat sliced right in front of you,” he said.

The menu will include traditionals like ham and swiss, roast beef and swiss, smoked turkey and cheddar and tuna salad.

Customers will also be able to get corned beef on rye, pastrami on rye, corned beef and pastrami, hot roast beef au jus and a Reuben.

Nardi said he will also have what he calls his “creations” that will have a distinctive Chicago touch to them, such as being named after Chicago streets.

“People will be able to order the Randolph Street or the Wacker Drive or the Michigan Avenue,” he said.

He will also sell beer. 

“What’s a Reuben without a beer?” Nardi said with a laugh.

The restaurant will be open from 7:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

Early morning patrons will have a choice of pastries, turnovers, scones and cinnamon rolls and, of course, coffee.

The restaurant seats 60.

Nardi, 56, who is from the Chicago area, ran a McDonald’s restaurant in Chicago and was friends with another Chicago restaurant man, Sam Soifer.

Soifer moved to Charles City and became friends with the late Brian Crane, owner of the Brick & Tile Building.

“It was one of Brian’s dreams to have a restaurant in this building,” said Nardi.

“I was in Chicago looking for another opportunity. Sam was the connection here to Brian Crane.”

Nardi and his wife, whose children are grown, now live in Clear Lake and love the North Iowa area.

“It’s more peaceful and less stress,” he said.

There will be free coffee Wednesday to the first 50 customers. 

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