In 2018, VCRD brought our Community Visit process to Wallingford where residents identified a number of opportunities for future progress in town. "Develop or Attract a Deli, Cafe, or Market" was one of the ideas the community identified. It's happening! Read on...
By Patrick McArdle, as seen in the Rutland Herald: https://www.rutlandherald.com/articles/thoroughbreads-gallops-into-walli...
WALLINGFORD — On Wednesday afternoon, a lunchtime crowd was filling the latest eatery on Main Street, Thoroughbreads Deli and Pub.
Founded by a Rutland woman, Tracey Urbani, and her husband, Brian Wortman, Thoroughbreads has been open for about a week and fills a space formerly occupied by The Pub.
Urbani said so far her restaurant has generally been busy during the day but “nighttime is crazy.”
“We wanted it to be a hometown place where people could get reasonably priced fare, plus hang out and just talk. … It’s just a down home, friendly atmosphere. You’re gonna see somebody you know when you come in,” she said.
Urbani describes what the restaurant serves as “comfort food.”
The name, Thoroughbreads, comes from a history of horse ownership in Urbani and her husband’s families.
“It sounded like a good name, but then I said, we should do ‘breads’ B-R-E-A-D-S, because of the deli,” Urbani said.
Before finding the site in Wallingford, Urbani said she and Wortman had spent about eight months trying to develop a location in Rutland Town.
However, finding the spot on North Main Street has worked out well. During the recent Community Visit from the Vermont Council on Rural Development, one of the goals set by Wallingford residents was to have that particular location put back into active use.
“I’ve been telling everybody this. The people here, from the day we were painting, they would stop by and talk to us, couldn’t wait for us to get open,” she said.
One of those early visitors was Bill Brooks, chairman of the Wallingford Select Board.
“I very much enjoyed the food that I had there,” he said.
Brooks said Thoroughbreads, which joins Sal’s South, the Italian restaurant across Main Street, adds some variety to what’s available for residents and visitors in Wallingford after The Pub’s closure.
“It’s good to have a deli in town again where somebody can go in and get sandwiches,” he said.
Urbani said the initial plan for Thoroughbreads was to make it simply a deli, but as the idea developed, she decided to add grilled sandwiches and make room for other additions such as the soups and chili that will be added next month.
During the weekend, Thoroughbreads will add a single hot entree at night.
The deli and pub has a distinctively dark décor that Urbani said was inspired by a Myrtle Beach restaurant called “Thoroughbreds.”
“We liked the name and the inside of it was the darker colors and the grays,” she said.
Urbani has experience in food services. She and her ex-husband were among the partners in the Denny’s Restaurant location in Rutland, and Urbani’s last job was in food services in the Rutland Town schools.
Urbani said she moved from Virginia to the Rutland area 23 years ago for the Denny’s opportunity.
On Wednesday afternoon, Urbani pointed out a number of people who had already become daily visitors.
“I told my husband, ‘We lucked out when we opened in Wallingford,’” she said.
At full staff, Urbani said Thoroughbreads will employ eight people.
Thoroughbreads is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. The eatery’s Facebook page shows daily specials online at www.facebook.com/ThoroughbreadsDeli.