The family behind Portage Park’s Perkalator coffeeshop continues to expand their businesses as they opened a new sandwich shop, Charley Noble, today at 6011 W. Irving Park Road. Joe and Melissa Basilone will apply modern spins on classic deli fare. The restaurant’s name is from a sea captain who sailed during the mid-19th Century.
While Joe Basilone’s father, a deli owner in New York, may have discouraged his son from entering the sandwich business, the younger Basilone wanted to give his neighborhood an option other than the burger, Chinese and pizza joints that dominate the area. Most of the meats —some of them smoked— come from a nearby butcher, Joseph’s Finest Meats, and the bread comes from Sicilia Bakery.
“There’s just something about working five times as hard for one-tenth of the money that’s somehow attractive to me,” Basilone said with a laugh.
Basilone has fallen in love with the Northwest Side after moving from West Town years ago. While the cheap bungalows may draw families to the area, residents need more restaurants to keep them traveling closer to the city. And so, the Basilones opened Perkalator right across from their resale store, Thrift & Thrive. They also run another business, Sputnik Books & Records.
Charley Noble is a family-friendly and tidy space with 300 square feet and 14 seats. Basilone hopes to have a hearty carry-out business and suggested diners to grab a sack of sandwiches while off to events like concerts at Ravinia in Highland Park. Don’t go off the deep end: It’s not nautical theme. Customers won’t find plastic lobsters hanging from fishnets. Basilone described it as a place to hang a few of his oil paintings.
Basilone hopes the menu will more or less stay the same, save a weekly special: “Hopefully I can get six months out of the menu.” Though Perkalator serves food, don’t expect any crossover. Both spots will serve different versions of grilled cheese and Cuban sandwiches. The menu also has vegetarian and vegan options.
Some of the inspiration for the restaurant came from a trip to Western Michigan. Though they’re not emulating Small Town Sandwich Shop in Siver Lake, Michigan (Charley Noble only serves a tuna sandwich, Small Town has bigger seafood lineup), Basilone was impressed with the fresh ingredients the Michigan restaurant uses.
While the neighborhood is going crazy over a new Culver’s, Basilone wants to give Portage Park more. Check out Charley Noble today and read the full menu below.
Charley Noble, 6011 W. Irving Park Road, (773) 332-5692, open 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Tuesday to Saturday; 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. on Sunday; closed on Monday.