I must admit that every time I walk past the former Joe's Superette at 349 Smith Street, I think of Leo Coladonato and of his incredible sandwiches. When the deli man passed away in May of this year, the door to his Carroll Gardens institution was closed forever. Gone were Leo's famed deep-fried prosciutto and rice balls. Gone were those delicious hero sandwiches. (My personal favorite was the Italian tuna in olive oil with shredded lettuce and sliced tomato. To die for.)
As long as the iconic 1960's blue sign with the yellow lettering is still up above the storefront, I have been able to pretend that Leo's place is not really gone from the neighborhood. But, as we all know, time always marches on.
Behind the old metal roll-down gate, the former deli has been gutted (without permits and at night, I may add) and a new door now leads to the back yard. The old store sign will probably come down soon.
Word on the street is that a Greek eatery will be taking over the place. A worker in the place told me that the place will be opening in the next two or three weeks.
May the new eatery be a worthy successor to Joe's.