It used to be that every town had a butcher shop and everyone knew their friendly neighborhood butcher. Times have changed, but Roslyn’s Justin Aronoff and Doug Cohen are reinventing the past with Center Cuts Gourmet Butcher & Catering.
“Butcher shops were a dying breed,” says Aronoff. “We brought it back to life with color and energy, and we bring a twist to it.”
Open since 2014, Center Cuts is more than just a butcher shop. It offers an extensive daily lunch menu and grill-to-go menu with signature burgers, sandwiches, salads and sides.
Aronoff and Cohen met while working at The Meat House, a New Hampshire-based butcher chain. When it closed several years ago, they saw an opportunity to fill a necessity in the community and take it to another level.
The Roslyn High School and Wheatley School grads began by stocking the store with high quality meats. “Customers started asking ‘Can you come and do barbecues at our house?,’ ‘Can you bring the chef?,’ ‘Can you bring your servers?’” Aronoff says. “Little by little the business grew organically into a full-service catering company.”
They’ve been successful with that aspect of the business. On Super Bowl Sunday, they had so many orders to fill, they began frying chicken wings at 4 o’clock in the morning. People have already started to book their events for summertime.
It’s important to Aronoff to offer flexibility to his customers regarding food allergies and special diets.
“We don’t like saying no here,” he says, and means it.
Many menu items are gluten-free and it all can be customized upon request. Despite specializing in meat, vegetarians will find plenty to choose from at the Willis Avenue establishment.
Aronoff’s pride and joy is the popcorn chicken. It’s his favorite item on the menu and customers can’t get enough.
“We make the batter from scratch for the popcorn chicken,” he says. “The second we make it, the tray is gone usually within the hour.”
Aronoff loves the feeling of finishing up a catering job.
“We do jobs serving 100 people and get compliments from every single one. They are thrilled with our staff,” he says. “We have an excellent staff.”
“There’s no better feeling than knowing that we did the right job for someone,” he adds.
Aronoff and Cohen will soon be expanding into the restaurant business with BLVD25, a new American kitchen in Manhasset. They are joining forces with Ryan Weber, a general manager for Jean-Georges Restaurant Group, to open the new venture in the spring.
“We decided to get together and bring a little touch of Manhattan to Northern Boulevard,” Aronoff says.
Center Cuts has brought back an old-world style of butchering that Roslyn has welcomed with open arms. The crew at Center Cuts provides a valuable service to the community while putting love into every detail of the food they prepare for their customers.
Center Cuts is located at 382 Willis Avenue, Roslyn Heights. Learn more at www.centercutsroslyn.com.