For over 38 years, the people of Syracuse have enjoyed our giant overstuffed deli sandwiches, huge subs, award-winning homemade soups, convenient catering, and our fun, friendly, fast-paced atmosphere.
Today, the two Brooklyn Pickle shops have become lunchtime landmarks...a unique part of the Syracuse scene...must-see attractions for visitors and locals alike. And it all started in a space that was barely wide enough to contain one of our sandwiches!
$2,200 and a dream.
With just over $2,000 in his pocket, founder Ken Sniper opened his first deli in 1975, occupying just a quarter of the original building on Burnet Avenue (then owned by the Nicotra family). Tina Nicotra's beauty salon filled out the lion's share of the property, while the sandwich shop operated in a 13-foot-wide storefront that was maybe 25 feet deep. The tight quarters didn't cramp our style though, and within two years a second Brooklyn Pickle opened on the West Side. That shop also started small — in the Byrne Dairy Building — eventually moving to its present location, kitty-corner across West Genesee Street, in 1984.
Meanwhile, the Burnet Avenue shop went through a variety of upgrades over the years. By 1992 we had completely outgrown the old space, and a shiny new building went up in its place. Major renovations and expansion followed, and the day after Christmas 2007, we reopened in our present form. From the pickle-shaped table to the larger-than-life murals to the neon Brooklyn Bridge, we've created a totally unique dining environment.
In 2011, our popular West Genesee Street location underwent a major renovation to meet growing demand. In addition to making the store more efficient, we made it more beautiful. You’ll find black granite counters and tables, intricate tile work, and a Brooklyn Bridge graphic with a sky mural on the ceiling.
Over the years, and through all these renovations, we never lost sight of our roots or the things that matter most: Great food, served with a smile, at a great price.
Not your ordinary Pickle.
Brooklyn Pickle is not just a name. It's the real deal. Ken's mother, Isabella, grew up in Brooklyn, and the family made regular downstate visits to his grandmother. On every trip, they never missed an opportunity to bring back their favorite "Brooklyn Pickles."
When he opened the deli, Ken wanted to give his sandwiches an extra special touch, and these famous pickles were the obvious choice. "I wanted to put the best pickle with the sandwich, and to me, that was the pickle from Brooklyn," says Ken. It quickly became the shop's signature garnish, and the unforgettable name was born. To this day, every sandwich is accompanied by one of these Sniper family favorites.
Everyone loves the Pickle.
So who eats here? There really is no typical Brooklyn Pickle customer. From corporations to college athletes, hospital staffers to high school teachers, they all love what we do. When Syracuse's top Big East basketball and football opponents come to town, many make a beeline for the Pickle. We cater sports banquets, office parties and do 3 foot subs for law firms, retailers, utilities, schools, you name it. In various newspaper and TV station polls, we've repeatedly won honors such as "Best Place for Lunch," "Best Sandwich," "Number 1 Soup," and more.
Together, Ken and Vice President Craig Kowadla have built the Brooklyn Pickle into a Syracuse institution. And it's about much more than soup and sandwiches, as the shop is a major sponsor of many charitable causes around town. When he's not tending to the restaurants, you're likely to find Ken supporting youth sports programs.