Thai Basil owners Bonner and Ooy Herren opened up Ooy’s Cafe and Deli in July of 2020 in the old Collegetown Bagels location at 201 N Aurora St. — facing the pandemic-dampened summer head-on.
The Herren’s signed the lease for the deli a week before the COVID-19 outbreak back in February. They have had challenges with operating a new business during a pandemic, but acknowledged that it was still a good idea to continue with their business.
“It was a good opportunity in timing and it was a good opportunity in itself. We just had a little hiccup in the road called COVID,” Bonner said.
Co-owner Bonner Herron says the deli may have started off with a bump in the road, but that the Ithaca community has been great in supporting his deli.
“We’re real pleased with the support we’re getting from the community,” Bonner said. “Things are getting better everyday.”
Bonner is happy with the location of the deli and added how he got word of a big mural that will be added to the outside of the building in the future.
“It really is kind of a landmark location. It’s one of the first buildings you see when you’re coming into town down the hill,” Bonner said.
Bonner and his wife, Ooy, have owned Thai Basil the last four years, and they jumped at the opportunity to open another business together.
Ooy’s Cafe and Deli is continuously building their menu, and Bonner hopes to expand it to include vegetarian and vegan customers in the near future.
“Our hopes are to have something for everyone,” Bonner said.
Ooy’s Cafe and Deli is open for dine-in or carry-out, and offers no-contact delivery. The business is open daily from 7 a.m. to 8 p.m. and offers a varied menu, from smoothies to grab n’ go items such as salads and baked goods. The deli offers traditional selections of sliced meat and made-to-order sandwiches as well. If you’re in the mood for a light meal or just a cup of coffee, Ooy’s Cafe and Deli is open and ready for you.