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Gnomes, Beards, Paninis | Business

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Gnomes, Beards, Paninis
Gnomes, Beards, Paninis

Audria Larsen

Downtown Grand Rapids is about to get another layer of delectable delights sandwiched among the folks currently dwelling, working, and soon, dining, at 38 Commerce Ave. Two Beards Deli, scheduled to open this November, seeks to fill a culinary void and serve an ample dose of whimsy, while filling your gullet.
Restaurateur Scott Schulz, the man behind the popular Cherry Deli and former 4th Street Deli (which closed its doors over the summer), describes the launch of Two Beards Deli as a “new adventure.” He also happens to be one-half of the inspiration for the restaurant’s name. The other bearded man is Chris Sommerfeldt, a longtime manager who has helped run both of Schulz’s other ventures and will manage Two Beards Deli.  After the new name stuck, “we started brainstorming and started thinking about gnomes,” says Schulz. "We didn’t want it about us, so we fictionalized it. We’re just two dudes.” Two dudes with well-kempt facial hair, leaving the unruly stuff to the guys in pointy hats. In fact, a pair of wooden, chainsaw-cut gnome sculptures crafted near Traverse City will flank the entrance.
Two Beards Deli will feature the same epic menus and equally grandiose sandwiches found at the other eateries, plus a whole slew of new offerings aimed at downtown denizens. Once open, business begins at a yawning 7 a.m. to offer breakfast and gourmet coffee drinks, both new elements for Schulz. “We have really tried to look at what people need,” says Schulz. “There are really...