ELKO — The two dames have left, but 2 Dames & A Deli is going strong, with a new name and new ownership.
Anamarie and Mikel Lopategui purchased the newly named Ogi Deli in March, but things really didn’t start changing until June.
“We wanted to allow the three months of transition,” Anamarie Lopategui said.
Since then, Ogi Deli has incorporated Basque sandwiches — or “ogitartekoak” — into the old menu. “Ogi” is short for “bread” in Basque.
“We thought Basque sandwiches would do really well here in Elko,” she said.
So far, the new menu items have been a hit. The solomo sandwhich — marinated pork loin, piperade, roasted garlic mayonnaise and Basque style cheese on a French roll — is a new favorite, she said. Other new items include a Basque chorizo, ikurrina, and jamon and gazta.
“We kept the majority of the menu and just added a little Basque twist to it,” Anamarie Lopategui said.
The new items are traditional and family recipes, as the Lapateguis are “100 percent Basque in blood.” Eventually, they want to start making the chorizos themselves. The soup is all homemade, and range from vegetable to carrot ginger and lemongrass chicken.
“You may never get the same soup twice because every day’s a work in progress,” she said.
Of course, recipes inherited from the “dames” — Diane Ouellette and Elaine Templeton — have stayed on the menu, including the seasonal tri-tip on Tuesdays.
Sandra Amigliore is a seven-year employee of the deli, which was once called 11th Street Deli.
“I think people are more excited about the sign to see what we’re all about,” she said. “We’re pretty busy, pretty steady.”
The Lopateguis moved to Elko from Reno because Mikel has family in the area.
“We had looked for a small place to raise the kids,” he said.
Anamarie Lopategui, who worked as a forensic investigator before teaching science for 10 years, said she couldn’t find a position here as a high school science teacher. The couple had previously owned a postal and shipping business in Carson City.
Mikel Lopategui has 17 years in education and was recently hired as the vice principal for Southside Elementary School.
“We just started looking for businesses for sale when we got here,” Anamarie Lopategui said.
The deli was ideal because it was well-established, Mikel Lopategui said. Still, the Serve Safe classes and other requirements kept them busy getting started.
“Every day was a learning experience,” he said.
Ogi Deli is located at 282 11th St. It is open 8 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday through Friday, and offers catering for breakfast and lunch. Delivery is free to most local businesses for orders of $30 or more.
Anyone who has signed up for the weekly specials for 2 Dames & A Deli will still receive them through email. To find them or receive the emails, visit ogideli.com.
“You can order right off the website if you like,” Anamarie Lopategui said.
For information, call 753-9290.