The city is about to lose another iconic dining establishment. Manganaro’s, the more-than-a-century-old Italian grocery and restaurant that helped pioneer the hero sandwich, is giving up its Ninth Avenue building and closing its doors.
Per The Wall Street Journal, the storefront grocery space plus four stories of apartments above it, is listed at $5.3 million. The sandwich shop next door to the grocery, Manganaro’s Hero-Boy, which claims to have invented the six-foot party hero, will remain open.
The grocery side of the business is run by Sal Dell’Orto, 83, while his brother, James, 74, runs Hero-Boy. The family says the brothers have barely spoken in 30 years. Business began to slow at Manganaro’s in the 1930s, when construction of the Lincoln Tunnel destroyed much of the neighborhood. Since then, the demise of the Garment District caused further setbacks. In the 1980s, Sal broke an agreement not to compete with his brother’s sandwich shop by advertising party-size heros. The brothers’ relationship hasn’t been the same since. Still, James says he’s sad to see his family business close.