Keeping it local, the sandwiches at Locals Creative Fresh Takeout are named for local places, heroes and legends. Below, returnable baskets customers can use to tote lunches to the beach. (Click to enlarge)


A new lunch spot has quietly popped up in the former home of a beloved Rumson deli.

Locals Creative Fresh Takeout soft-launched January 7, offering a menu of sandwiches to-go in a space where Rumsonites lined up for decades at Butler’s Deli, which closed in October.

A view from the kitchen at Locals. (Click to enlarge)

The shop, which doesn’t yet have a website or Facebook page – imagine! –  will soon begin making family-style dinners to order, says co-owner Dave Ciambrone, whose family owned nearby Val’s Tavern for 67 years. He sold it in 2009.

With Locals, “I was just looking to get back into the food business, but in a smaller capacity,” he told redbankgreen.

Ciambrone, who also previously owned onetime speakeasy Murphy’s Tavern on Ward Lane, and partner Stark Stratton wanted a big emphasis on the homey and historical aspects of Rumson, Ciambrone said. It’s in the name of the business, but it’s also in the names of the sandwiches.

On the board:

• The “Toy Bulldog,” which takes the nickname of 1920s-era middleweight boxing champ Mickey Walker, a longtime Rumsonite

• The Peter Piping Rock salad, named for a 1940s-era restaurant

• Queen E’s Rumson Road Ride, a cracked-pepper roasted turkey sandwich commemorating a long-ago visit by Queen Elizabeth of England

• and a New York sirloin sandwich, served rare, dubbed “McCarter’s Cow Crossing.”

“They all have stories, some we can’t tell” of hangouts from his youth, Ciambrone says with a gleam in his eye.

The shop, which has no tables, also features its own brand of spring water, bagels from nearby Atlantic Bagels and coffee from Jersey Shore Coffee Roasters in Leonardo. Customers headed to the beach can transport their orders in spiffy orange canvas baskets and return them afterward, Ciambrone said.

Ciambrone said Butlers’s Deli closed with the retirement of Paul Stout, who was the third owner of the business dating back some 40 years.

Locals Creative Fresh Takeout is located in a small shopping center at 91 East River Road.