The Fauci Pouchy has arrived in Tysons.
The first Virginia franchise of DC-based Capo Deli is now open for business at 8359B Leesburg Pike in Tysons Square by the Greensboro Metro station, offering fresh Italian subs and cocktail pouches inspired by longtime US health official Dr. Anthony Fauci.
The location has actually been operating since early June, according to Ziad Abulaban, who co-owns the Tysons site with his brother, Mohammed. However, they’ve taken a gradual approach to advertising the opening, starting with an Instagram post on July 11 before making the leap to Facebook on Aug. 17.
No grand opening date has been set yet, as the business works to bolster its staff. Like other restaurants in recent months, Capo Deli Tysons has struggled with hiring, to the point where it temporarily reduced its hours to 11 am to 5 pm
The deli’s two DC locations are open until 8 pm on weekdays.
“We don’t want to do a grand opening and not be able to keep the Capo standard,” Ziad told FFXnow. “Right now, we’re still in soft opening until we get more employees and get everybody trained. We want to make sure our product is 100%.”
A spin-off of a long-standing Italian deli in Florida, Capo Deli planted its flag in DC’s Shaw neighborhood in June 2017 and quickly generated buzz — including from Ziad, who was quoted by Eater DC praising its late-night hours.
Just a few years later, Ziad has gone from patron to franchisee, partnering with the business to expand it into Northern Virginia, where he grew up.
“I loved the sandwiches so much, and there’s not really a good sit-down deli like we have, so we decided to bring it to the Tysons area,” Ziad said.
Despite the build-out taking twice as long as anticipated, thanks to pandemic-related construction and permitting delays, the opening “has been great” so far, Mohammed Abulaban says.
The bread comes fresh every day, and all of the sauces and dressings are made in-house, according to Capo Deli. In addition to hot and cold subs, the menu features salads, pasta dishes, and sweets like tiramisu and cannoli.
The “Fauci Pouchy” cocktails were introduced in spring 2020, as the deli adapted to a world shut down by the COVID-19 pandemic. With some pouches from a liquor provider and an abundance of lemons on hand, Capo Deli’s beverage director concocted a vodka mint lemonade with elderberry and grapefruit.
“It just kind of exploded,” Capo Deli spokesperson Natalie Flynn said. “We had the right product at the right time and right moment. It was very of the moment.”
While Fauci’s plans to retire suggest the drinks may need a rebranding at some point, Capo Deli’s fresh ingredients and old-school “family vibe” — as Ziad describes the atmosphere — are what the Abulabans hope will help the Tysons location replicate the success of its DC predecessors.
Mohammed expressed appreciation for the support the deli has already gotten from nearby businesses and the community, which he says has “welcomed us with open arms.”
“We couldn’t have asked for more. We really feel hurt,” he said.