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Milo’s Deli Celebrates 15 Years in Franklinton

Ayana Wilson Ayana Wilson Milo’s Deli Celebrates 15 Years in Franklinton
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It’s hard to imagine what the Franklinton area would look like without the Pappas’ family influence. They’ve been in the neighborhood for a long time as the owners and operators of Tommy’s Diner, located at 914 West Broad Street, and Milo’s Deli, situated just west at 980 West Broad Street.

This year marks the 15th for Milo’s Deli, a breakfast and lunch hot spot named for the sons of Tom and Kathy Pappas, who invested every last penny to open Tommy’s Diner 24 years ago. Michael Pappas provides the Mi-, while Louie, who currently runs the restaurant with his aunt, accounts for the -lo.

Milo’s originally opened to receive the overflow from Tommy’s, but it soon grew into its own under Louie Pappas’ direction. Right out of college, Pappas came to work at Milo’s, which joined the catering game in the first year so as not to overly compete with Tommy’s customer base. They only offered boxed lunches and trays back then, but would eventually branch out into hot entrées, which essentially gave birth to the Milo’s Deli we know today.

Before long, Milo’s had built its own loyal customer base, who not only came in for the fresh and yummy selections of breakfasts, sandwiches, soups, salads, and gyros, but for the people who work at Milo’s as well. The staff at Milo’s are as friendly, unpretentious, and genuinely caring as any you’ll find in the city, and it starts with their affable leader.

“The right people make all the difference,” shares Pappas on Milo’s success. “People are going to make mistakes, lots of them, myself included, but if you always invest in your people first, if you’re patient with them, and you build a camaraderie with your team, you’ll both learn and you’ll both grow.”

And Milo’s has certainly bolstered its operation. They have been providing catering and dining services to the Franklin Park Conservatory and Columbus Museum of Art for years now, they supply desserts to Weinland Market, and in 2011, they took over meal operations at the Capitol Café, located inside the Statehouse.

Their repertoire has also expanded to include more than the standard deli and Greek favorites on which Milo’s first thrived. Customers can now enjoy a Jerk Turkey Pretzel Melt or Southwest Chorizo Chowder right alongside the Milo Reuben with corned beef and pastrami, and the Avgolemono Soup (Greek Chicken Lemon Soup) for which Milo’s is known.

This kind of progressive and diverse thinking is only going to serve Milo’s well in the future as they set their sights on opening another retail location, and maybe even a banquet facility in the future. Pappas constantly challenges his culinary team to come up with new ideas, and push the most delicious envelopes, relying on a potent combination of steady persistence and fierce flavor to catapult Milo’s into the next 15 years.

This dedication to perpetuating his family’s legacy is what continues to drive Pappas, and he hopes one day that he will be able to pass the keys to the family’s kingdom onto one of his own three children, if not them all. Till then, he is focused on bringing new traffic to his beloved Franklinton hamlet, and he leads by example, not just to his staff, but his community as well.

“The quality of ingredients, variety on the menu, and the wonderful people here keep me coming back,” says David Allison, a 74-year old Floridian who recently relocated to the Buckeye state. “It’s always guaranteed to be a taste-tempting meal, and you really couldn’t ask for a better atmosphere when you come in. Milo’s has been the best thing about moving to Ohio and the Franklinton area.”

For a look at their full menu, hours of operation, or to order lunch for the office, visit www.milosdeli.com.

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