'Meat' the new deli in tri-town: 143 Market
Matt Schaefer, 19, bit into a chicken sandwich at the 143 Market on Route 6. He called it "fire," a slang term which means good.
"Fire" isn't how the restaurant's co-owner Mike Dahill described the deli, but "smoked" fits the bill. Smoking meats has been Dahill's passion for years. Now, after a long wait, it's part of his profession.
After years of tossing around the idea of running a deli, in May, friends Dahill and Matt Gurney, owner of Matt's Blackboard in Plumb Corner in Rochester finally got what they wanted - an old school style market with locally-raised organic livestock.
The business venture began with a conversation. Dahill doesn't recall when it started, but he remembers bouncing around the idea of owning a deli with Gurney lightly. Over time, the idea began to formulate into a concrete business goal.
"For a while it was just kind of something we were talking about it, joking around, and we just kind of got a little more serious, and a little more serious," he said. "And then we decided maybe we should really do it."
Both owners started eyeing properties around the area around 2014. They were especially interested in the former site of Tokyo Restaurant on Route 6, which closed in 2011. However, the property was already sold by the time they considered making a purchase.
Once the property was put up for sale years later, Gurney and Dahill jumped on it.
It wasn't a cheery sight at first. Buying the property in 2017, it took another year to get the business operational. They had the building gutted, sanded down, and remodeled.
While the renovation is finished, the market's selection is not entirely complete. Dahill is interested in possibly making beef jerky and featuring more local produce.
For now, the focus is centered around preservative-free meat: brisket, pastrami, ham, roast beef, and corned beef. Livestock products come from Rochester and are butchered, smoked, and prepared onsite, Dahill said.
“We get it from the guy at the farm who takes it to the slaughterhouse and picks it up, brings it to us,” he said.
Carnivores aren't the only ones being served, Dahill noted. There are some vegetarian favorites, too. He said the macaroni salad has been surprisingly popular, and the veggie burgers have been pleasantly-received as well.
Whether stopping by for meat or something else, Dahill has seen strangers become regulars. From them, he’s only heard positive reviews.
“That’s kind of what we’ve been hoping for,” Dahill said.