By Sarah Hite Hando, Wilkes-Barre Times Leader
WILKES-BARRE — Keith Bartle is a firm believer in the notion of simplicity.
The 41-year-old owner of South Street Subs and Deli in Nanticoke is bringing a stripped down version of his business to downtown Wilkes-Barre.
South Street Subs, located at 70 S. Main St., will open in January and offer grab-and-go hoagies for busy workers and college students looking for a quick bite.
His hoagie is pretty simple, too. Bartle said he modeled his sandwich after Catalano’s Deli in Scranton — Capicola ham, salami, provolone cheese, hot or mild peppers, and a splash of oil.
But what makes Bartle’s subs different from the rest?
“The bun,” he said. “It’s thinner — it’s not all bread. They’re good.”
He said he’s tried different buns in the past, but always came back to his old standby. He said he gets the buns daily from Scranton, but wouldn’t elaborate.
Bartle has owned South Street Subs and Deli on West South Street in Nanticoke for six years. The deli offers a full menu, including cheesesteaks, soups, salads and other sandwiches.
“People will come from Philly to eat his cheesesteaks,” said Keith’s mother Nancy Bartle, who works in the Nanticoke deli.
But he wasn’t always a food connoisseur. Before working in the food industry, Keith Bartle was a truck driver.
“My cousin got me into (the industry),” he said. “But I did everything myself. I pride myself on that. I did it from scratch.”
Nancy Bartle said Keith is a “go-getter like his father was.” His father died seven years ago.
“(Keith) makes a darn good hoagie,” she said.
Keith Bartle said even with other sub shops in the vicinity, he believes his product will stand out because it will be fresh, fast and inexpensive.
A 12-inch hoagie will cost $5, and customers can add a bag of chips and soft drink for $1. All the hoagies will be made in Nanticoke and transported to the Wilkes-Barre shop daily.
“We won’t sell anything that’s left over,” said Keith Bartle.
He said he’s excited to be part of the growing downtown community.
“(Downtown) seems to be getting better,” he said. “I thought it was a good opportunity to get into business and be part of it.”