By Daniel Bush
Get ready for a sub shop smack down!
Randazzo’s Clam Bar is opening a small sandwich shop a mollusk’s toss away from its Emmons Avenue eatery — a move that will pit the famed Sheepshead Bay seafood restaurant against Jimmy’s Famous Heroes, a Sheepshead Bay Road staple, and other popular neighborhood delis.
Starting this month, the new Randazzo’s Sandwich Shop will hawk breakfast fare, hot Italian heroes, and hot meals like baked ziti, on Sheepshead Bay Road between E. 15th and E. 16th streets.
But don’t expect to find Randazzo’s signature seafood dishes there. Joey Randazzo, whose family has owned the clam bar since the 1930s, said his informal hoagie hub will focus on slinging sandwiches for hungry commuters using the bustling Sheepshead Bay Road train station.
“There’s a lot of people coming and going [along Sheepshead Bay Road],” he said. “We think it’s a great location.”
Randazzo says Sheepshead Bay doesn’t have any viable take-out options that peddle fresh mozzarella, prosciutto and roasted peppers — which his shop will have in abundance.
“People will be able to get a quick bite to eat [at our sandwich shop], but it’s still going to be high quality because the products are going to come from Randazzo’s,” he said. “There’s no place to get a good hero in Sheepshead Bay.”
Neighborhood sandwich connoisseurs beg to differ: Sheepshead Bay already has Jimmy’s, which has fed the hero-starved masses for more than 40 years — and is just five blocks away from Randazzo’s new shop. There’s also Roll-N-Roaster on Emmons Avenue, Brennan and Carr on Nostrand Avenue and Bassett Deli on Avenue X — which is two blocks from Randazzo’s new place.
Workers at Jimmy’s Heroes declined to comment on how Randazzo plans to eat into the famed hero shop’s business, but a manager at the 50-year-old Bassett Deli said he welcomed the competition.
“As long as the quality remains the same, our customers will keep coming here,” said Frank D’Antonio.
Randazzo decided to expand in Sheepshead Bay after he lost a bid to open a new food spot on the Coney Island Boardwalk. Central Amusements International, the company charged with turning the Boardwalk into a glitzy, year-round resort town, ultimately gave the coveted spot to Tom’s Restaurant in Prospect Heights.