Window treatment: Pascoag deli stays hopeful, ready as dine-in services shut down

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BURRILLVILLE – Mike Karmozyn says his business has always focused on cleanliness.

From cleaning solutions provided by EcolAb – the same company that supplies many hospitals – to disposable gloves worn by every employee touching food, he notes Cow’s Tail Deli has worked hard to keep their “spotless,” reputation.

“We buy the same amount gloves as nursing homes,” Karmozyn told NRI NOW this week. “We’ve always used a lot of gloves. We always use a lot of sanitizer.”

And as Gov. Gina Raimondo’s ban on dine-in food and beverage service went into effect Tuesday, March 17, Karmozyn said he’s uniquely positioned to feed the hungry masses.

The business, a deli that also serves pre-made meals, desserts, salads and seafood, opened last August in a small building by CVS/pharmacy. Now six months old, the establishment recently added delivery service to the menu.

And now, through a window at the front, Karmozyn says he’s feeding guests from a safe distance.

Like most restaurants, the owner of the Pascoag-based deli said he’s worried what the ban – aimed at curbing spread of COVID 19 – will do to his business. Cow’s Tail has a small dining room, with a few four-person tables seating up to 15.

“We’re losing some business with that, but we’re mostly known for our takeout,” Karmozyn said. “We’re using it to our advantage.”

Guests to business can now get “meal deals,” dishes such as chicken marsala, and spaghetti and meatballs, prepackaged in microwave-ready containers for $8.99 a pop. Delivery services are offered whenever the business is open. and homemade soups are offered at $6.99 a quart.

And as fears of the virus spread, Karmozyn is utilizing that window – at first envisioned primarily for serving ice cream on hot summer nights – to its full advantage. Closed for the winter until this week, it will now keep guests – and employees – even further from potential germs.

Customers are invited to order through the window, and Karmozyn said his staff will be happy to bring the food out to the car when it’s done. A handicap ramp means anyone can access the window, and Karmozyn said Cow’s Tail will go one step further: Pull into his parking lot and beep your horn, and staff will come out to take your order.

The recently launched delivery service also offers more than just a hot sandwich. Customers can order meats, desserts and full family meals, delivered right to their door.

“If they want to buy a pound of bologna, they can,” Karmozyn said.

Inside the business, staff is even more cautious than usual. Equipment, he said, is wiped down after every sandwich. Even delivery drivers are required to wear gloves.

“We’re telling our customers when they come in to use the sanitizer,” he said. “We’re not shaking hands anymore.”

Karomozyn said that as people become more dependent on home supplies, and go out only for necessities, he hopes he can fill a need for locals who want a hot meal.

“Everyone is so nervous,” he said. “I think this will help.”

To see the hours and full menu for Cow’s Tail Deli visit cowstaildeli.com

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