Monday, October 10, 2016

Beloved Marietta Store On Court Street Now For Rent

Of course, we all knew that Marietta, the beloved old-time clothing store at 393 Court Street, was likely closed for good after its last surviving owner, Joe Chirico,  passed away this past June.  However, seeing a 'for rent sign' attached to the store's vintage enamel sign, makes the closing of this family-owned business a reality and a sad reflection of all the changes here in Carroll Gardens.

Marietta had been in operation at this location since the 1940s. It was originally founded by Marietta Chirico, a gutsy Italian immigrant who saved up her money and bought the Court Street building, so that she could open her dry goods store on the ground floor. Later, her two sons Joe and Matty stepped in to help run the business.
After their mother's passing, the two brothers continued running the store. Surrounded by stacks of cardboard boxes that contained underwear, socks, t-shirts, baby clothes and housecoats, the two brothers Joe and Matty served up their infectious laugh and hilarious banter.

Matty passed away a few years ago, but his older brother Joe who was well into his 90s continued on. Every work day at about 11 am, he would slowly make his way from his home on Clinton Street to take his place behind the counter of his store. Joe's grandson started helping him un the store for the past few years, but  when Joseph's health began to fail at the beginning of this year, Marietta remained closed. Obviously, now that Joe is gone, the next generation of Chiricos has decided to close the shop forever.

Marietta was like a perfectly preserved time capsule and offered a glimpse into what life was like here in Carroll Gardens when everyone still knew each other and when Court Street was lined with family-owned businesses that actually served local residents.
One can only hope that a new tenant will respect its past and acknowledge Marietta and her two sons, Matty and Joe.

Marietta at 392 Court Street a while back, when it was still open.
This photo was taken by my friend and Carroll Gardener Mary, who kindly allowed me to post it here. It shows Mary's neighbor Marie "hashing it out" with Joe a while back.
Matty and Joe Chirico
image above courtesy of Carroll Gardens Patch


Anonymous said...

Let's just hope that we will not get another nails salon instead. I saw that The Tiny Brooklyn store is also for rent on Court and Huntington.

Anonymous said...

OMG yes, inevitable, but still sad. I loved Marietta. The end of an era - with Casa Rosa now gone, too. I'm glad I shopped there when I did. My mom loves the comfy day dresses I got her.

Anonymous said...

I hope the realtor did not nail the "for rent" sign into that beautiful enamel Marietta sign.

Sad. It is an artifact of days gone by.

Maybe the Brooklyn Historical Society would want it as a vestige of the Italians of Carroll Gardens.

Anonymous said...

Looks like they screwed the sign right into the metal enamel sign. Yikes. What idiots.

Was going to rail against the newcomers with no sense of the neighborhood's history, but hey, it's a local, old-timey real estate business that did it.

Anonymous said...

There might be someone with vision who will take the shop and keep the layout and remove the sign for the family or keep it! The barbershop on smith and union when the owner died the son insisted on a barber going in. And that new person kept the shop as it was. Beautiful mural and classic chairs. I fear Marietta will be gutted. But we don't know what the family has asked. And based on how they acted all willy nilly after Joe died they may just
cash in. I'm hoping the nephew will help preserve parts of the shop and the sign.

Anonymous said...

I take that all back. The store has been rippped out. All the cabinets and shelving and that counter have been ripped out. And the window was cracked like someone smashed into it while gutting it. And yes that sign is screwed into the enamal sign. Such idiots. Although I do recall the family saying they would save the counter. Who knows. Say farewell.

Unknown said...

I saw Marietta's on Neighborhood Slice. I wanted to meet Joe and buy aprons for my ninety year old aunt, but by the time I got there, he was bedridden and I only met his nephew who sold me a sweatshirt that said Brooklyn on it. I am heartbroken to this day. I wanted to enter his store and hear his stories. I missed meeting him by days. So sorry Carroll Gardens -- truly sorry.