It’s not easy being one of the only kids on the block, as Mangia Italian Deli was when they opened in the once-thriving Shops at Salishan, during the summer of 2017. Yet the business has managed to do quite well, and now, to the delight of owner Steve Lockwood, new ownership and management of the Salishan Resort has breathed new life into the marketplace.
“We’re up over 50 percent in customers this year,” he said. “That’s in many ways due to the new ownership at Salishan bringing more guests to the lodge and new businesses into the mall.”
Though the purchase happened about a year ago, there was a slow build to getting the resort to reflect the vision of its new owners, Alpha Wave Capital.
“Our pillars are wellness, great food and drink, eco-adventure, and arts and ecology,” said General Manager Ryan McCarthy. “The shops are an extension of that. It’s like when you buy a house it takes some time to figure out what steps you’ll take. We want to bring in the right tenants, not just the right-now ones.”
McCarthy said there are at least three more tenants under consideration for the newly renamed Salishan Marketplace, but the doors have already opened to The Gallery at Salishan, which has new shows every month; and Beachcrest Brewery, which opened in late December then threw one of the most popular New Year’s Eve parties of the year.
Opening soon will be Epicurean Pantry and Java, which carries packaged gourmet foods, ice cream and espresso drinks. Salishan Adventures, which currently offers bike rentals for guests, will also be opening one of the storefronts and will be having “Paint and Pinot,” calligraphy and other fun arts and crafts workshops.
The Salishan Yoga Studio, which was offering free classes to guests of the lodge or spa, is now open for drop-ins as well.
“Our studio has a beautiful view of the Siletz Bay,” McCarthy said. “I think it’s going to be popular with locals as well as guests.”
The new life being breathed into the mall is the not the only thing that Lockwood credits with the restaurant making it through the last winter season.
“We didn’t slow down during what is traditionally the slowest time of year,” he said. “I credit that to two things we started that have been wildly successful.”
On Mondays and Wednesdays from 4 to 6 pm guests get two meals for the price of one; and those that want food to go can get two full dinners with a bottle of wine for $39 any time during the week.
Lockwood, who describes Mangia’s theme as comfort Italian food for an American palate, said he has developed the menu slowly, occasionally adding new items while keeping those that work.
“You’ll see new items and specials,” he said. “But we like to keep serving our traditional favorites.”
One of those is the pasta carbonara, made with European bacon, white wine, garlic and spices, tossed with Parmesan cheese and egg.
“It’s my favorite,” Lockwood said, “and is the favorite for many of my customers too.”
Other favorites that stay on the menu are the flatbreads, which are $11 or $12 depending on which you choose, with options including the BBQ turkey with red onions and mozzarella; the spinach mushroom with goat cheese and garlic; and the gorgonzola Brussels sprout pesto.
Another mainstay of the deli are the wines:
“We have an array of Oregon pinots and chardonnays, some California wines, and some very nice Italian wines,” Lockwood said, adding that if all goes well there will be ample room for that list to grow.
“We’re currently in negotiations to expand with a private room and wine bar. We’re hoping to be opening that in May.”
New Year’s resolutions must fall like Oregon rain when people come into the deli and walk past the case displaying the house made desserts.
“Our desserts are as popular as ever,” Lockwood said. “We have carrot cake and peanut butter torte and tiramisu, and I’ve recently added a hot seller; the Almond Joy torte.”
Though Lockwood says he stays on top of producing the new tortes, he can’t quite keep up with demand.
“I make it every week but you have to move fast,” he said. “It doesn’t stay in the dessert case for long.”
Mangia Italian Deli is located in the Marketplace at Salishan 7755 N. Hwy. 101, tucked in between fellow longtime tenants, Fitness 101 and The Gentlemen’s Hair Co. The restaurant is open for lunch and dinner from 11 am to 7 pm Sunday, Monday, Wednesday and Thursday, and 11 am to 8 pm on Friday and Saturday. Call them at 541-764-2501.