Thursday, October 29, 2009
Meet the Zukes Girls
By Chris LaRose
"I'd like a Zuke's special, please." This sentence is heard repeatedly on a daily basis at Zuke's Deli and the girls who make each and every sub for you never get sick of hearing it. "I think the customers that we get in here are sometimes the best part of the job," said Alysha Baker, 20, who is one of the "Zuke's girls" everyone has come to know and love. Zuke's Deli has been a staple in student's lives for quite a long time and although the current group of girls working at deli haven't worked there forever, they've been around long enough and that people openly recognize them in public. "I'm constantly hearing 'ZUKE'S GIRLS!' as we are walking around downtown," says Mackenzie Albin, 22, who has worked at Zuke's since coming to Plattsburgh State.
While the girls may be recognized quite often in public, many people have wondered what the "Zuke's girls" are doing when they're not making subs for hungry, hungover college students. "People will ask what we do besides working at Zuke's because they always see us working," said Devan Gallagher, the newest Zuke's girl, "and I always joke and tell them that I live at Zuke's." However, the girls certainly do have lives outside of Zuke's (come on, like they really work 24/7?) and they were more than happy to answer a few questions about the life of the Zuke's girls.
First up is Mackenzie Albin, who says her life outside of Zuke's mainly consists of playing with her dog, Mr. Pudding, and hanging out with her boyfriend and roommates. "Yes, I am taken," she joked, "so all the guys coming into the store can stop asking." When she's not working, Albin says you can most likely find her at home, but that once the weekends roll around you can always find her downtown. "My weekends start on Thursday," she said, "so I'll be at the Krazy Horse... shaking my thing." When asked to sum herself up in two words, she had to take a minute. "You know, I'm way too complicated to be summed up so easily," she said, "but I'd have to say open and crazy."
Next is Devan Gallagher, the most recent addition to the Zuke's girls, but she says she "feels like she's been there just as long as the others." Though she just turned 19 and isn't able to go downtown like the other girls, she admits to still having fun. "I can't go downtown with everyone else," she said, "but I don't just sit around and do nothing besides work." She says that working at Zuke's is an extremely fast-paced job and that her definition of what it means to be a Zuke's girl is "quick and efficient... with a great attitude." You can always find her dancing, both at work and outside of work, because it's one of her favorite things to do. "People always comment on how we dance around the deli a lot," she said, "but I'm literally always dancing."
Third is Lauren Dooley, the oldest Zuke's girl who is currently getting ready to graduate. "After this semester I'm moving to New York City for a teaching position," she said, "so it's going to be really difficult to say goodbye to this place." When she's not working, or partying it up on the weekends with other girls, you can find her with a redbull in one hand and a cigarette in the other. "It sounds so classy," she joked, "but those are my two favorite things." An extremely interesting fact about Lauren is that she drew all the menus at Zuke's and draws all the images on the quote board as well. "Art has always been something I was good at," she said, "and I really can't wait to bring it into my classroom."
Lastly is Alysha Baker, nicknamed "Sheesha" by everyone close to her. "I'm not even sure where the nickname came from," she said, "but it stuck... and I like it." When she's not making the best possible subs for customers, Baker says she's not ever doing the exact same thing as the day before. "I'm always doing something random that I haven't really done before," she said, "I'm not a fan of repetition." Her favorite part about working at Zuke's is the customers and how they interact with the girls working. "Sometimes guys will use the cheesy pickup lines on us," she said, "things like: 'do you want my footlong?'... We always just laugh in their faces." Like the other girls, she's always out to have a good time and says most people recognize her because of her "big hair" and "big personality."
So the next time you're in Zuke's be sure to look for the girl with the big hair and the big personality, or the girl with the Redbull in one hand and a cigarette in another, and say "hey", because now you know them - at least a little bit.
Credit for graphic: Chris LaRose