Santa Barbara Politics, Media & Culture

Wednesday, April 11, 2007

State Street Update: Italian & Greek Deli to Close on Saturday

It is with great sadness that I report that the Italian & Greek Deli will be closing on Saturday. What will go in it's place? Word is that a cellular phone store will be moving in. Just what we need on State Street....



Anonymous allegro805 said...

The Independent did a good piece on this last week or week before. The family that owned the deli confirmed they will be leasing the space to Verizon for a hefty sum for a cell phone store. As the Indy reported, they don't begrudge the owner his decision, as it is his primary asset to fund what is purportedly a well-deserved retirement after running this great business for all these years. Indy has all the specifics.

This news made me wonder how long the "Italian Market" on Canon Perdido will remain in business... the wonderful proprietors of that are definitely getting up in age as well! Time marches on! Kids rarely want to take over storefront operations like this, it seems (no judgment to read into that...).

4/11/2007 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I vote for Starbucks!

4/11/2007 10:34 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm encouraging all my friends to go to the Italian and Greek deli for their meatballs subs while they are still available. I'll be there myself on Thursday or Friday. The deli is (nearly) dead, love live the deli!

ps. I'm posting this anonymously. Does this mean I'm blatantly a pro-union shill?

4/11/2007 1:29 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Cool. Cell phone store works for me. That or a bar.

4/11/2007 6:23 PM  
Anonymous sola lola said...

I have worked downtown for many years, so many of them walking up State Street and -- if not ordering a roast beef on a French roll, walking by and inhaling the delicious aroma from the deli that will never, ever, be replaced.

It was the first place the love of my life and I ate lunch, and most likely the last time anyone will see a proper meatball sandwich in this town. Thank you, Italian Greek Deli for all the wonderful sandwiches and memories!

Please tell me that the cultural richness that is being sandblasted off State Street will just relocate to other areas of town..?!? Jimmy's (not on State Street but still...) and Italian Greek Deli (and so many more local businesses) within roughly a year is too traumatic to absorb at the moment.

4/11/2007 6:47 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So much talk about the uniqueness and charm of SB. Here goes another local icon lost to a mega mall franchise. Face it, SB is now just another suburb of Los Angeles. Architecture may be pretty but it is the people who give it character and flavor. As more and more local businesses are replaced by generic franchises, the internal charm of SB is being destroyed much as the NP. Maybe it IS just a sign of the times. Sad, very sad. I ate at the Italian and Greek Deli for 30 years and always enjoyed the great food for a good price. Thanks for the memories Johnny!

4/11/2007 8:15 PM  
Blogger Sara De la Guerra said...

If any of you are visiting Johnny in the next couple of days -- please let him know that he's got some fans here at BlogaBarbara!

4/11/2007 8:46 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I moved to SB in 1971, apparently just soon after the I&G Deli opened. I was totally hooked on the baklava. Those were the good old days in SB IMO. When I arrived there was still a bit of a Chinatown with a Chinese market near Jimmy's. The old Paseo with its charming diversity of shops (I recall one with Hungarian chrystals, another with German wooden toys) was a favorite place to visit. Friday happy hour at El Paseo restaurant was the place to be.

4/12/2007 9:35 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just in case Johnny is to read this... Your friendly service and welcoming smile always made my bad days at the nearby newspaper that much better. Thank you so much for the best working lunches ever. I'll never forget the torpedos or roast beast that were my staples for so many years.

4/12/2007 1:46 PM  
Anonymous StreetPainter said...

We mourn not only the meatball sub but the hot pastrami, and we'll miss Johnny, gazing over his customers like a ship's captain reading the waves. Oh Johnny's deli and Jimmies, the loss of savour smarts.

But think, old Barbarians, we have this new thing - this channel of communication that has texture, tone, and the occasional pivotal insight. (Eckerman comes to mind.) This Mess is the worst fight of my 44 years of residency, but unlike land-use tussles whose unequivocal outcomes are limited to to geographic boundaries, the ripples of this struggle are being felt way beyond our burg's borders. The Mess upsets my core values; so, I am grateful to all of BlogaBarbara for their voice, for the grit of community I feel articulated in these daily strings. I'm addicted to my daily paper (LATimes); I NEEDS a paper in the morning, but now I need to hear my communities' voice just as much. Yes, we're loosing ground to change, (I'll miss you Johnny) but think about what we are making here! Thank you Sara. (Neville, where are you? )

4/12/2007 4:40 PM  
Anonymous boB said...

I know it's not the same, but let's try and support Norton's place next to Los Arroyos which is also worth supporting. These are not "old Santa Barbara", but they do have charm and character and both are owned locally and their owners are in their stores! I'm sure that many of you have your own special places that you like. Hey, I urge you when in Goleta (close enuff to SB for inclusion here) to go to the European Deli sort of tucked away by SB Chicken Factory in the Fairview Center. Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Das "food" ist wunderbar! I'm boB! ---> :-)

4/12/2007 9:01 PM  
Anonymous El Rincon said...

Ah, nostalgia. I loved Nebi's in IV, which didn't last past the riots in 1970. Great record shops in IV in the mid-1960's, and the Red Lion bookstore was exceptional... so was the Unicorn.

A terrific deli now in IV is the Deli Mart... best falafel and schwerma around. Makes me miss the old falafel stand where Freebird's is now.

And who can forget the Brazen Onager.

The only constant is change.

4/13/2007 6:57 AM  
Anonymous older than dirt said...

oh yes the falafel stand in IV was fab... which reminds me of another place in IV- sun & earth * the other health food stores- one on de la vina, another on coast village circle in mont... back when sb was a sleepy little funky town

4/13/2007 5:40 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I just came back from the Italian and Greek Market. I was there when they opened their doors at 11 am, for the last time. Ordered a meatball sub to go. By 11:05 the place was filling up, with people queuing out the door. Everyone who gave an order to Johnny was telling him how long they've remembered the place and how they'll miss it.
I tried to go there Thursday, but the line to order food was over 30 people deep.
I was too young to remember when the Market first opened, but my mother recalls the time when this was the only shop she could buy phyllo pastry. Times sure have changed!

4/14/2007 2:34 PM  

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