Restaurateur Eyes OC Cheesesteak Bragging Rights
OCEAN CITY – A longtime local is looking to join the local competition for the best cheesesteak on the beach title with his new business adventure, Supremo Cheesesteaks.
Owner Ira Mensh is aiming to have Supremo Cheesesteaks, located on 117th Street and Coastal Highway, open by Monday, April 22.
After college, Mensch opened and operated OC Clothing for 15 years and ended up with four locations in Ocean City and two in Baltimore.
In 1995, Mensh started a new chapter in his life and headed into the restaurant business with a food concession in the 94th St. Mall called Top Dog. Next, he moved to Westminster Md., where he opened a large restaurant called Bear Creek Inn. When Mensh returned to Ocean City, he opened Jackson Chicken in West Ocean City that specialized in rotisserie chicken.
Following his stint in the food business, Mensch decided to transfer his focus to Ocean City’s real estate industry where he eventually came across the opportunity to take the location on 117th Street, formerly Brianna’s Bananas Cafe, and is converting it into Supremo Cheesesteaks.
“I am in the food business again,” Mensh said. “The past is the past. The future is now.”
Mensh claims to be the “soup Nazi of cheesesteaks” as he is out to have the best cheesesteaks in town using only the best ingredients. He chose to call his restaurant Supremo Cheesesteaks after looking for a definition that will make his hoagies the greatest, and came across “supremo”, which means one or an organization that is highest in authority or command.
“It’s not a cheesesteak unless it’s a Supremo cheesesteak,” Mensh said.
Whether it’s the rib eye steak, chicken steak, the all-fresh veggies, locally baked bread, hand-cut Idaho potatoes cooked in pure peanut oil, fresh garden salads or thick shakes, every effort will be made to ensure that customers get superior products.
“What I have found is if you have a niche and you can do it the best, people will come,” Mensch said of choosing the restaurant to focus on cheesesteaks.
Starting out, Supremo Cheesesteaks menu has six options when it comes to how a rib eye or chicken cheesesteak is done. All cheesesteaks have the option to have American, provolone or cheese whiz. Next, the diners have to choose whether they want to stick to the traditional cheesesteak with fried onions or add sauté peppers, sauté mushrooms, lettuce and tomato. For the veggie lovers, a veggie hoagie is available with grilled peppers, onions, mushrooms, lettuce, tomatoes and a choice of cheese.
Mensch plans to offer a daily special to add variety to the menu, such as roasted pork, roasted turkey and meatballs.
“I am going to streamline for my soft opening until I get the feel for the town and what they want to do,” he said. “I am not set in stone … I am still kind of testing it out.”
Mensh has been in the process of transforming the café into a sandwich shop with a new grill behind the front counter that will welcome customers with sizzling steaks. There is indoor seating and outdoor seating out back on the bay.
“It’s the best waterfront dining dive around,” Mensch said.
As Mensh joins the local cheesesteak competition, he believes it is his ingredients that will set Supremo Cheesesteaks apart.
“You will be getting more products for your money,” he added. “Competition is good. It raises the scale.”
Supremo Cheesesteaks will open at 11 a.m. for the lunch crowd and will remain open as long as customers keep coming in to please the late night crowd.