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EXTRAORDINARY PERSON: A restauranteur with 'chops'


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- If you've ever gone for lunch downtown, you probably have seen one of the most recognizable faces in Wilmington.

Chop's Deli has built quite the reputation downtown through the sandwiches it has built for the last three years. But beyond the Boar's Head meat and cheeses is its highly recognizable logo, which is a caricature of a guy with the mutton chops: Co-owner Brad Corpening.

"People see me and they see the chops and sometimes they'll say, 'Are you that Chop's guy?' And I'll say, 'Yeah, that's me. I'm Brad. How's it going?'" Corpening said.

The 28-year-old was a server at Dixie Grill when he and a co-worker decided to start their own business, hence Chop's Deli. Since its inception, Corpening has become a walking billboard of a sorts, and you'll find his face everywhere at the restaurant.

"I'm kind of a cartoony looking guy, big and gangly and just kind of goofy," he said.

But it's not just the facial hair that makes Corpening stand out; it's his customer service. On an average day at Chop's, you'll find Corpening walking around the dining room, getting to know his customers and what brought them to Chop's.

"That's been probably the most amazing part of the experience is we've gotten to know so many great people, and with the downtown community around us, there are people here that are amazing people," he said.

With a face you can recognize from a mile away, Corpening is hopeful his service with a smile is what leaves a lasting impression and keeps his deli door swinging.

If you're wondering if Corpening ever shaves his face, he does: Once a year for a charity event.

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