Justin Aronoff was just a teenager when he learned the butcher trade. Now, seven years after opening his own shop in Nassau County, the proprietor of Center Cut Meats will be practicing his craft on the North Fork.
The popular Roslyn Heights butcher shop is opening a second location in Mattituck this spring.
“It just really seemed like there was an opening for what we do out there,” the Dix Hills resident said. “There are a lot of people going out there these days and we love the location.”
The shop will be located at the former North Fork Deli site on Main Road in the hamlet, just east of Mattituck Plaza. The deli closed last year after more than a decade at that location.
At just 19 years old, Aronoff opened the first Center Cut Meats in 2014 after the butcher shop where he previously worked — and another nearby — closed. They quickly gained a following for their fresh cut meats, prepared foods, carry-out items, catering and delivery across Long Island.
“We’ve really built a name in the neighborhood,” he said of Roslyn Heights, which will remain open. “We bend over backwards for our clientele and they know what they’re getting from us.”
Aronoff sees a new opportunity on the North Fork, where he’s delivered in the past, and has observed a lack of similar businesses. While there are butcher counters at grocery stores, delis and specialty shops like 8 Hands Farm and Lombardi’s Love Lane, Center Cut Meats is in line with butcher shops more common elsewhere in Suffolk County.
On Friday morning in Roslyn Heights, Aronoff and more than a half dozen of his employees were hard at work filling the butcher case with choice cuts of dry-aged and Wagyu beef, pork and a full range of other meats. He noted that one of their more popular items is a burger blended from brisket and short rib. At one point he cut off a piece of a freshly grilled Wagyu short rib to show a reporter how tender it could be even when not braised. Customers can also dip into the shop for freshly prepared sandwiches and burgers.
Aronoff raved about some of the other food businesses he’ll be operating near in the coming months, including Ammirati’s on Love Lane, Macari Vineyards and Love Lane Kitchen.
The space in Mattituck, which is currently undergoing some renovations, will afford Center Cut Meats double the space for prepared meals than the existing location. And he plans to feature all of the same amenities — catered lunches, full-service delivery — as they do now.
“It will be more of the same, but a little bigger,” Aronoff said.