The “F” is for FAIL: F. Martinella Kaput

Manager Steve LoCastro in happier times.

Manager Steve LoCastro in happier times.

Two BHB tipsters have alerted us that F. Martinella, the “old style New York deli”  from Boar’s Head [119 Court Street]  is down and out for the count.   “Chris” emails us and says:

“I walked by F. Martinella on court and there was paper in the windows and employees not answering if they were closing, as all the equipment was being loaded out… One employee said “don’t know”

And nabe blogger Flappy Days who is quickly becoming the George Jessel/ Grim Reaper of Court Street eateries reports:

Back in October, Boar’s Head decided to try their hand at a retail shop in Downtown Brooklyn with the old-timey sounding and looking “F. Martinella” deli. I guess people weren’t eating enough hoagies to cover the $125 a foot rent, ’cause I passed by there this morning and saw guys loading unopened blocks of ham and turkey into a truck. On the way home, my suspicions were confirmed when I saw the windows taped over. Despite the misleading claim that they had been in business since 1949 (Boar’s Head was actually started in 1903, and if you count the kiosk at JFK, F. Martinella had been in business only a few years, tops), they actually lasted only 10 months. Ha ha! But is anyone surprised? The food was bland and the neighborhood didn’t need another deli (let alone one that was way to fancy for its own britches).

Don’t let the neighborhood hit you on the way out, and good riddance.

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  • No One Of Consequence

    “The rent for the 2,500-square-foot F. Martinella storefront is “at a nosebleed level,” said King, who was originally involved in the deal, but did not close it.

    To compare, a 650-square-foot space for a yogurt shop at 32 Court St. recently went for $14,000, King added.”

    Is that monthly? i.e. $168k annual/$258 ft2?
    Or annual, $1166 mo./$21 ft2?

    The latter seems ridiculously low for this neighborhood, but the former is equally insanely high.

    All things being equal, that’s either $645k yr/$53k mo or $4300 mo.
    ok, so there’s no way it’s only $4300 monthly.

    So, I can’t imagine the yogurt shops can sell anywhere close to enough product to cover $14,000 month in base rent and turn a profit after all other expenses.

    As for F. Martinella, even if my numbers are only in the ball park, let’s say $40k mo. base rent… that’s a lotta salami.

  • John Smith

    Does anyone know if the Martinella site was previously a sit-down Chinese restaurant? I seem to remember something of that nature in the approximate location. I wouldn’t be upset if an Arby’s were to open up on Court St. There are very few in the NY area.

  • yo


    my understanding is it’s $14K per month…and we wonder why nothing sticks in the area

  • lifer

    There WAS a Chinese restaurant where Martinella’s is. I forget the name, but we would go in there when we were 14 and get served booze. Scorpion bowls, yum.

  • Deus

    Arby’s — really?

  • No One Of Consequence

    wondering is now optional
    we can only marvel that anyone even bothers to try

  • Billy Reno

    Damn! Just had a fine lunch there with the fam on Sunday! Everyone pray for Checkers.

  • anon

    @anon-The kosher deli with great firm hot dogs moved to Livingston St (south side) between Court and Boerum (not sure if it still there) and the same owner (I recall) owned the deli/store on Clark St by Henry St, which closed because of, among other things, sexual harassment issues.

  • mk

    nothing quite like wanting a kosher deli sandwich and instead having to eat something with a giant pigs head on it.

    Q: Where will we find boar’s head meat without F martinella in the neighborhood?
    A: next door, next door to that, and also next door to that

  • Bk Law Student 2

    I hope they replace it with a frozen yogurt shop.

  • Another BLS Student

    I must agree with my classmate. They made the same sandwiches differently every time, without fail. The sandwiches were also $45. Also, the internal layout was ridiculous. It was designed by some MBA, not a deli owner.

    I really hope they put another Froyo store there. God knows Court Street needs another one.

  • rob

    Boarshead is just processed crap. It should have been better product. wish it had been a Kosher Deli . I think people should think it out before they open any old thing . This was a poor idea

  • Anne

    Homer your headline sucks.
    Flappy you are one cruel blogger…maaaaaan.

    Actually the headline didn’t bother me so much as the “good riddance” so scratch that first one.

  • Jen

    Good riddance. I went in there once and had the slowest, most inefficient and worst service ever.

  • Emily

    I patronized the restaurant on a nearly daily basis. The mangers were always friendly and professional and there were many polite and capable employees who worked there, as well. The free wifi was a real plus in a neighborhood with few such options, and the egg wrap was the best deal in NYC. I will miss it terribly.

  • joe

    I ate their Italian hero at least once a week. The bread, cold cuts and produce was better than L&H and cheaper to boot.

    Though the worers weren’t the fastest I always found the workers to be very friendly. I’m going to really miss them.

  • peter

    i heard it was a landlord problem and that they basically didn’t want to play “ball” with the property owner. i loved the store. food was good and the atmosphere was really nice.

  • Holly

    For real? For those of you who opine that this article is too critical….I live upstairs from the location. My husband has been in the restaurant business his whole life and gave the manager, Steve LoCastro, free operations advice on how to improve the business and increase the profit margin. Repeatedly, they ignored everything he said….sad to see them go, I liked to hang out there, but capitalism means survival of the fittest!

  • Hipster51109

    I’m a Law student residing in the dormitory on State Street and I can certainly see why it failed. This was my morning stop for coffee briefly but sandwiches were just too expensive. My only big purchase there was a cheesecake that took over 10 minutes to receive and in the process was handed a chocolate cake. Not sure how they messed that up. Secondly, the employees smoked cigarattes inside which turned me away.