Realtor: Randazzo couldn’t hack Sheepshead Bay’s sandwich war

Pauli and Joey Randazzo think their famous clam chowder would taste great in Coney Island. The family behind Randazzo’s Clam Bar is looking to open a second location on the historic Boardwalk.
Photo by Steve Solomonson

Randazzo’s Sandwich Shop owners have closed the Sheepshead Bay Road hoagie hub they opened five months ago, claiming that widespread electrical problems inside the building made the art of sandwich making impossible, yet the realtor managing the property says the hoagie craftsmen simply couldn’t make it in the neighborhood’s ongoing kill or be killed sandwich-making war.

Sandwich shop managers Joey and Paulie Randazzo, heirs to the legendary Randazzo’s Clam Bar on Emmons Avenue, said they closed their deli because an electrical fire broke out and they didn’t want to pay for the high-priced repairs. The store was closed temporarily earlier this summer after a worker smelled smoke and found it coming from behind a wall, according to Sheepsheadbites.com, a neighborhood blog.

But the realty company handling the building said there was no fire and the wiring in the building is fine. Randazzo’s sandwiches, however, were another story.

“They couldn’t hack it,” said a spokesman for Urban Retail, which manages seven other properties on Sheepshead Bay Road. “They didn’t want to tarnish the Randazzo name, so they said there’s an electrical problem. The excuse about electrical problems is a complete joke.”

Yet the Randazzos claims there was a fire — and the scorched wall can be seen through the shop’s window.

“It’s black all the way into the back,” said Paulie Randazzo, who said it remained unclear when and if the sandwich shop would reopen or move to another location. “My partner Joey, he’s not sure what he wants to do.”

When reached on Friday, Joey Randazzo said he was too busy to speak and would call us back. We were still waiting for his call by Monday.

The Randazzo brothers jumped into the Sheepshead Bay sandwich war in May, pitting its $6 hoagies against subs from Jimmy’s Famous Heros and the Basset Deli on Avenue X — not to mention Roll-N- Roaster and the fast food Subway store a few doors down from Randazzo’s.

At the time, Joey Randazzo said he welcomed the competition.

“If people try my sandwiches they’ll never go back to Subway,” he boasted.

Employees at Jimmy’s Famous Heros say they’re not surprised that Randazzo’s Sandwich Shop closed.

“They opened in May, bad mouthed us the whole entire way, and we never ever made any comments against them,” said Gianna Spadaro, who co-owns the 75-year hoagie haven. “They made comments about keeping our shop old fashioned and they made theirs all fancy and nice, but how long were they open?”

Reach reporter Colin MIxson at cmixson@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260-4514.

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