|32 Years of Garbage Grinders...that’s Luigi’s!
By Annette Langenstein, Staff Writer
I sat down with Helen O’Callahan, owner of the
original Luigi’s Italian Sandwiches, located at 801 Newmark
Avenue in the Empire District of Coos Bay. Started years ago as a
family business (they still employ only family and friends) they have
been open for business for 32 years this month! “I
don’t know where the time went!” says Helen.
Luigi’s main restaurant items are sandwiches, and the one called the
Garbage Grinder is their best-seller. It’s a hot sandwich made of
salami, ham, pepperoni, and choice of one veggie, along with melted
cheese, onions, bell peppers, pickles and tomatoes. It even comes in
several different versions. “We have people that come here from as far
away as Seattle just to get our Garbage Grinder,” says Helen.
met so many wonderful people here over the years,” says Helen
O’Callahan, owner of the original Luigi’s Italian
So who does all the cooking that makes customers crave their
sandwiches? “I do all the cooking, all the shopping, and have for 32
years,” said Helen. She does offer some alternatives to sandwiches. “We
have a spaghetti lunch special with our homemade tomato sauce and
garlic bread for $5, which is a really good deal. We also have French
dips, reubens, and our homemade potato salad.”
When I asked Helen what message she would like to get across to the
public, she replied, “We try to treat everybody like they’re friends
and family, and things are pretty low-key here. I’ve met so many
wonderful people here over the years. I look forward to coming to work
every day, I look forward to seeing my customers. We have regulars that
come in a couple times a week, and have been doing so for years and
years,” she said.
Just look at the walls in
Luigi’s and you’ll see hundreds of smiling customers, so
many that they’re running out of wall space to display them
all! Helen also puts the photos on the internet. “People
love to see their picture on our Facebook page,” she added.
You can reserve Luigis on either
Sunday or Monday, or after 6 p m during the week, for a private
event. “We have baby showers here all the time. We provide
the food and the building, and we can accomodate up to 40
people,” says Helen.
Luigi’s is open from 11 am to 6
pm Tuesday through Friday and 11 am to 4 pm Saturdays. You can call
your order in at 541-888-9407, and have a delicious, hot Italian
sandwich waiting for you and served with a smile!
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