Many sandwich shops have served Downtown Lincoln over the years; however, few can say they have outlasted Danny's Downtown Deli. Danny Patrick originally opened his deli in the Sawmill Building (currently home of bread&cup) in 1999 and is now one of the most well known and visible businesses in the historic Terminal Building. Danny's Downtown Deli has successfully served patrons and remained a constant downtown staple during a period of drastic change.
It hasn't always been easy, as Danny and his wife Mary Ellen have been through their fair share of adverse times. In 2004, while moving the deli to its Terminal Building location, they were also rebuilding their home after the Hallam tornado. It's stories like this that display the perseverance it takes to run a successful shop.
To find out more, Downtown Lincoln caught up with Danny on a COLD winter afternoon to talk about HOT sandwiches, downtown fountains, and his sports loving past.
The Deli moves into the Terminal Building on 941 O Street in 2004.
DLA: Five years ago, when we interviewed you for your 11th anniversary the “N St. Club” was your best seller. Is that still the top dog?
Danny: Actually since we added our grill the Reuben & Philly have become very popular. It conveniently comes with chips and a drink and we have very good Pastrami. We are dedicated to serving top quality menu items with personal and excellent customer service. The meats and cheeses are sliced and prepared fresh right when you order and the white and wheat bread are baked fresh daily.
DLA: You do have an excellent meat selecition. What are some that are unique to Downtown?
Danny: Quality Meats & Cheeses --- NO BALONEY!!! (haha). We carry Prosciutto and Capicola, which are two meats that can be difficult to find. The Corned Beef and Pastrami are top quality and both make for an excellent sandwich on rye. A fairly new item that has become popular is the “Vinnie” named after Bo Pelini’s nephew who has been a regular here for a while now. It has Swiss, Provolone, Prosciutto, Capicola, Pastrami, & Corned Beef.
DLA: Anything else that is new or unique?
Danny: The grill gives us the ability to grill any sandwich as well as offer great burgers. The 1/3 Pound top sirloin burger swiss mushroom style is great.
DLA: Do you have any breakfast options for Downtown's morning rush?
Danny: We have bagels and English muffins for all the hot breakfast sandwich combos as well as breakfast burritos with fresh veggies.
DLA: What’s your favorite part of Downtown other than the Deli?
Danny: In the spring, the fountain across the street from the shop is beautiful. I love the history on that block with the old federal building. Also, the Terminal building was sold 2 years ago to a man named Arnold Wassenberg, who has been doing some great things to upgrade and fix up the building. New elevators and freshly polished floors have spruced things up around here. You know this building was started in Jan of 1916 and finished in Aug of 1916 and has some amazing detail to it for being so old.
DLA: Favorite Husker sport?
Danny: I love them both. My father, Joe Patrick, used to do radio for the Huskers for years when I was young, Creighton Basketball too. I remember not knowing who to root for when I would sit in the press box with my father.
DLA: Thank you Danny. We are excited for a new year and wish you all the best. Any parting thoughts?
Danny: We better challenge Mike Riley and Tim Miles to come in and get a sandwich.
DLA: Maybe you can find a sandwich to name after them.