Sauce and solidarity: support for Ukraine shown in small ways on Main Street

Published 12:05 am Thursday, March 17, 2022

SALISBURY — If you walk into Sidewalk Deli right now there is no Russian dressing to be found.

The staple dressing for the iconic sandwich shop’s Reuben is still there, but now it’s Ukrainian dressing.

“This weekend jokingly with friends we had white Ukrainians instead of white Russians,” Anderson said.

The joke was still amusing him on Monday morning when he looked up and saw the Russian dressing on his menu. It occurred to him the restaurant should change that too.

“I don’t hate the Russian people. I feel sorry for the Russian people because they’re being lied to, but I wanted to do something to show solidarity with Ukraine,” Anderson said. “Salisbury is pretty progressive and forward thinking, and of course we never think genocide’s a good idea.”

Anderson said everybody gets the joke and the shop it immediately boosted the popularity of the sandwich.

“We sold more Reubens yesterday than I think we’ve sold in the last month,” Anderson said on Wednesday.

Anderson said it’s a small thing and he knows it is not affecting anything on the ground in Ukraine, but he did it to show people what he is about.

“It’s just like me flying my American flag and my Catawba flag and my Livingstone flag. People know where I stand,” Anderson said.

Anderson said the name will stay while Ukraine is under siege by Russia.

Changing the name of a menu item to make an opinion know is not a new thing for the deli. In 2003 the deli’s French dip became a freedom dip.

A few steps up the road, in the windows of the old Wells Fargo building there is another display of solidarity with Ukraine.

Tree of Valor now has a large display on the corner for American Troops, but there is also small display of three trees dedicated to Ukraine in a neighboring window on Main Street.

The trees show a mix of soldiers who are in the field in Ukraine on green trees and those who have been killed since Russia invaded in late February on the white tree. The organization has an ambassador in Ukraine that has helped provide information on the soldiers.

Tree of Valor Founder Lori Egerter said she finds what is happening in Ukraine soul crushing and her friend has called and told her about the sirens and information going out to prepare for nuclear fallout.

“At this point, day after day, they are fighting to keep the name of a country,” Egerter said.

Egerter encourages people to view the displays at 130 South Main Street at night when they can fully appreciate the light displays.

About Carl Blankenship

Carl Blankenship has covered education for the Post since December 2019. Before coming to Salisbury he was a staff writer for The Avery Journal-Times in Newland and graduated from Appalachian State University in 2017, where he was editor of The Appalachian.

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