(ABOVE: Adam Wade photo)
Hoboken is an embarrassment of riches when it comes to sandwich shops. Yet beyond our meaty, cheesy borders, we’re perhaps best known as the home of “The World’s First Blimpie.”
On April 4, 1964, the inaugural shop opened up on the corner of 7th & Washington Streets, as three friends from St. Peter’s Prep—Tony Conza, Peter DeCarlo and Angelo Baldassare, launched their sub from the port of Hoboken and went on to conquer the sandwich world.
They eventually left the midtown base and moved downtown, to 110 Washington nearly 20 years ago. However, after what appears to be an ugly back-and-forth between the proprietor of the store, the landlord at the current location and Kahala Brands (current owners of the Blimpie franchise), it looks like Hoboken will no longer boast “The Best.”
Back in December, hMAG reported that the store was in fact closing at 110 Washington Street—only to move uptown to a new location.
“We are relocating to a terrific (parking accessible) location at the corner of 14th St. and Willow Ave, next to the Malibu Diner,” read a previous note at the Washington Street location. While the move was unsettling to the Blimpie faithful—of which there are many…
…at least there appeared to be a shot at keeping a Blimpie afloat here in the town where it all began.
Sadly, there seems to have been a few developments since then that have brought about the somewhat jarring demise of a Hoboken institution.
A series of cryptic messages began appearing in the front window of 110 Washington Street, at one point indicating that a sandwich shop would remain at that location but it wouldn’t be part of the Blimpie franchise. Then another note, which appears to be a facebook post by an owner, went up that read the following:
Well—-I’d like to pass along some sad news regarding the ending of the BLIMPIE Era in Hoboken after 54 years of servive to the mostly wonderful people of the town and beyond.. My wonderful landlord chose not to renew my comm. lease after 20 years at 110 Wash. st., our 2nd location after being at the orig. location corner of 7th and Wash. My rent went up drasticly and I guess he thought the lowly Blimipie couldn’t afford his high increase,, so i’m histor at this location shortly.. This is quite devestating to the area, since my store here has been quite an institution for over 50 years. There is a possibility of relocating on 14th & Willow av. if I can get thru the red tape in town and work something out with the Blimpie brand owned Kahala conglomerate in Arizona that has been targeting me for product violations,, such as using the Thumanns brand—that they do not recognize and want me to use..You kidding me ?Let me say no more—–Hopefully I’ll find serious investers .. But Iv’e had a 48 year run since buying the Hoboken store from good friend Frank Ingram in 1969 and meeting the three founders—Angelo–Tony–and pete—Great appreciation to the Quinlans—Julie and Bill—–the Azzolines—Kerri and as of late DANA–and way back Loretta and Angel Perez..—and over 300 employees—I’d left a career at the Parsippany P.D. After coming ut of the Army’s Military Police unit Then came Blimpie—No Regrets—-Lotta stories—31 yrs. owning NYCitief first store at 55th st. and 8th ave. from 1973 thru 2004—and 10 other metro. Blimpie stores..Thanks and Love to the thousands of great patrons,,and yes a few pain in the asses—and pinheads—-yeah–need them too—makes it interesting—-LOVE TO ALL—–See ya next year ?
Yet another sign read that the store would stay open until September 27. However, sources confirmed that the place was closed by the 26th, and all the signs in the window had been taken down.
hMAG had made several attempts to speak with the owner of the store at 110 Washington prior to the closure. An email was also sent to Kahala Brands. As of press time, neither have responded.
We will update this post with any further developments. But for now, Hoboken has no Blimpie…
***EDITOR’S NOTE: The staff at this particular establishment were some of the most consistently polite and engaging people anywhere in this town. It’s truly sad to see this place go.***