Prominent Cincinnati Chefs Opening Sandwich Shop in OTR Storefront

Posted on January 18, 2024 by aatkinson

Young Buck Delicatessen to Also Serve as Commissary Kitchen for Crown Restaurant Group

CINCINNATI (January 18, 2024) – In partnership with Crown Restaurant Group (CRG), Young Buck Delicatessen, which is operated by Brian and Caitlin Young, has signed a lease with Cincinnati Center City Development Corp. (3CDC) to take over the former Holtman’s Donuts space located at 1332 Vine Street in Over-the-Rhine (OTR). The culinary duo, who met as contestants on Bravo TV’s Top Chef, plans to open the deli in the 1,100-square-foot space this spring.

The Youngs, both of whom have extensive culinary backgrounds, combined their talents to create Young Buck, which held a residency in Crown Republic Gastropub during the recent holiday season. While the chefs have known CRG owners Anthony Sitek and Haley Nutter-Sitek for several years, Young’s formal relationship with CRG started in late 2023 when he began working as an Executive Chef with the restaurant group, whose other concepts include Losanti, Rosie’s, Cantina, and Five On Vine. Ultimately, the pair decided the time was right to put down roots with a brick-and-mortar location for their sandwich shop. While the duo plans to operate Young Buck from 8 am – 3 pm for six days per week when it opens, the space will double as the butchery and pasta commissary kitchen for all CRG locations.

“Though I’ve had the privilege of working in and helping open many fine dining establishments over the years, I’m excited to hone and share my butchering skills,” Brian said. “Caitlin and I make a great team – she’s the baker and I’m the butcher. My culinary work has always been focused on precision, education and knowledge, while Caitlin tends to gravitate toward memory-evoking dishes that have some sort of emotional connection. Our individual culinary styles are very complementary.”

The pair is approaching a typical sandwich shop from a chef’s perspective, making items from scratch as often as possible. The lunchmeat, bread and accoutrements will all be made in-house with fresh and seasonal ingredients. Guests will have the option to build their own sandwich or choose from an 8-10 item menu including sandwiches like Chicago Hot Italian Beef, Italian Cold Cuts, the Vermonter, and a variety of others.

“We feel very lucky to have landed this prime location for our business,” Caitlin said. “It’s such a vibrant part of Vine Street and we’re eager to contribute to all the great things happening in OTR. My kids grew up visiting Holtman’s here, so I have a personal connection to the space and I’m excited to bring new life to this storefront and activate these big windows with our very own concept.”

Currently, the Vine Street space is receiving cosmetic updates to make it better suited for a sandwich shop and commissary kitchen. The team is partnering with Dust Village, a local design firm, on the overall aesthetics and other creative aspects of the deli. Dust Village owner Jake Staubitz has been critical to bringing the team’s collective vision to life, according to the Youngs. Upon completion, the updated space will feature limited barstool seating around the perimeter at a bar rail for those who prefer to dine in. The indoor walk-up window will remain, allowing folks to observe the butchery process during the day. In the evening, the space will be used to make pasta for CRG restaurants – a process that will also be visible from the exterior walk-up window after hours.

“We have always been close friends with Brian and Caitlin, and we are thrilled to partner with them on this concept, and for them to be a part of the Crown family,” the Siteks said. “This is an amazing opportunity that is truly beneficial for all involved. We pride ourselves on being a from-scratch company and having this space for butchery and pasta making will allow us to elevate this aspect of our business. Likewise, the cross-utilization of the product between Young Buck and our other restaurants is great for the deli.”

For 3CDC, the concept represents an extension of its strong relationship with CRG combined with the opportunity to work with another entrepreneurial group with a strong culinary background in Young Buck. The developer is always looking for new concepts that meet a need OTR and believes that Young Buck Deli will be a welcome – and convenient – addition for visitors and professionals alike.

“We’re always looking for new and creative concepts and feel like Young Buck is the best of both worlds, allowing us to introduce a much-needed sandwich shop to OTR while expanding our partnership with Crown Restaurant Group,” said Lindzie Gunnels, Director of Commercial Leasing with 3CDC. “Brian and Caitlin’s energy truly comes through when they talk about food, cooking, and this concept, and we can’t wait for them to be able to share that with their customers as they reactive this unique space on Vine Street.”

Once the space has been updated, Young Buck Deli plans to be open six days per week (closed on Sundays) from 8 AM until 3 PM – unless they sell out sooner. In addition to catering to the lunch crowd, the sandwich shop will offer breakfast sandwiches from 8 AM – 10 AM, with menu offerings like a bacon, egg and biscuit sandwich, a pancake sandwich and more.

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