The Groucho’s franchise dates back to 1941, when Philadelphia-native Harold Miller, a mustachioed, energetic, cigar-smoking former-orphan, brought his idea for a delicatessen to Columbia, SC. Decades later, the neighborhood-style deli takes pride in serving up “fast, fresh, and original” soups and sandwiches.
They’ve even trademarked several of their dressing and submarine sandwiches, and expanded the founder’s dream into 26 locations across North and South Carolina. The menu here isn’t huge, but they stick to what they’re good at, which is all anyone can ask of a deli. Options are available in two categories – soups and salads – and there are plenty of both to choose from.
Salads are served with fresh-cut lettuce, tomatoes, cucumbers, and green leaves, and possibilities include everything from Turkey & Cheese to Chicken or Tuna Salad Plates to My Wife’s Salad Bowl, which is a huge pile of ham, turkey, bacon, and diced cheese. The dressing selection includes Formula 45 (spicy Russian and Thousand Island herb-blend), Danish Bleu (Scandinavian), Formula 95 (tangy, sweet mustard), as well as Italian, Ranch, Honey Mustard, Tangy & Sweet, and Raspberry Vinaigrette.
There are 3 Groucho’s Own Original Recipe Sandwiches – Tuna Salad, Chicken Salad, and Tuna Cheese Melt – with origins reaching back to 1941. By far the biggest list on the menu, Groucho’s Specialties includes highlights like the Apollo Dipper (fat sub roll with hot ham, turkey, Swiss, choice of Formula 45 or Danish Bleu), The Brown Moose (roast beef, provolone, lettuce, Formula 45, soft seed roll), and the BLC Chicken Critter (grilled chicken, 95 dressing, bacon, lettuce, melted cheese, mayo, soft roll). The Deli Sandwich list includes Corned Beef, Pastrami, Roast Beef, Turkey, Ham, Salami, or Cheese, on your choice of Rye, Pumpernickel, Wheat, White, Soft-seeded Roll, or Wheat Roll. And there’s also a Low-Fat Alternative Menu, with altered-versions of several of the Specialty sandwiches and salads.
Like many sandwich shops on the Grand Strand, Groucho’s is nestled into a strip mall just off of Ocean Highway. Once inside, diners will find an open seating area with basic black tables and chairs. It’s a deli, after all, and the minimal design leaves the focus where it should be – on the fresh deli meats and salads.