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Chepé opens in Key Estero Shops

October 5, 2017
By JESSICA SALMOND ( , Fort Myers Beach Bulletin, Fort Myers Beach Observer

Try to eat just one empanada. Bet you can't.

Sergio and Judith Alin have opened the newest sandwich shop on Fort Myers Beach, Chep Sandwich Bar, last week. The deli serves up all the American and Italian favorites, but the tastiest thing on the menu are the homemade chicken and beef empanadas.

"Argentinian empanadas are different," Sergio said. "They're baked, not fried. So they're healthier."

Article Photos

Chepé Sandwich Bar’s bright yellow and red logo is impossible to miss in the Key Estero Shops plaza.


The little golden-brown, meat-filled pastries are served warm and served best when dipped into Sergio's secret-recipe chimichurri sauce.

"This is the original recipe chimichurri. Some people try to add this or that, but..." Sergio said, shrugging his shoulders. He likes it the way it's supposed to be: with a base of garlic and parsley.

The rest of the recipe is off-limits, though: Sergio's not giving up his secret.

Sergio is Argentinian; Judith is Peruvian. They both think their country's food is the best, but they compromised together on the name of their deli, Chep. "Che" is an Argentinian phrase that means "hey you," Sergio said. The "PE" at the end stands for Peru.

While their empanadas are mouthwatering, their menu has lots of other options, too.

The deli features cold and hot pressed sandwiches, made only with Boars Head products. American favorites, such as turkey, roast beef or ham and cheese, and Italian specials, like sweet capicola and prosciutto, are just a few options, along with daily specials. They also offer up a Cuban pressed. The chicken salad is made fresh, with chicken baked in the deli. Soon, the deli will offer beer and wine.

Sandwiches can be customized, or special ordered.

"If we don't have it on the menu, we'll do it for you," Sergio said.

Sergio moved from New Jersey, and Judith from Chicago, to live in Cape Coral. Judith said she's always had the idea for a sandwich and empanada shop here on the beach.

They decided to open as soon as they could after Hurricane Irma, because they saw all the lineworkers out on the beach and wanted to give them a place to eat.

"We had an idea this would be a great place for this kind of business," Judith said. "The people on the beach are nice people."

Chep is located at 1661 Estero Blvd., and is open Tuesday through Sunday from 11 9 p.m.



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