DiBlasi’s calling it a day in Denver

By on August 3, 2016
DiBlasi’s Sandwich Shop is a Main Street institution in Denver.

DiBlasi’s Sandwich Shop is a Main Street institution in Denver. Photo by Preston Whitcraft

DiBlasi’s Sandwich Shop and Catering Business, a downtown Denver landmark at 328 Main St. for 42 years, will close on Saturday, Aug. 20.

“It’s bittersweet,” said owner Sam DiBlasi. “It was a quick decision made by Callie, my wife, and I. My daughter, Trish, posted the news on Facebook July 28 and we had 25,000 hits by the evening. The next morning we had another 10,000 hits.”

Pretty impressive considering Denver’s population is 4,400. Obviously the news impacted a legion of fans.

Within 24 hours of the posting, some 188 comments and replies to those comments were posted.

Among those commenting were longtime customers, both local and those who had left the area but always returned to the eatery when coming back to town.

Here is a sampling of heartfelt Facebook notes from past employees:

* “Thank you to both Callie and Sam for my first job and more importantly teaching me the importance of hard work.”

* “Oh my, very sad to see you go!! You were a big part of my younger years. I worked for Sam when I was in high school. Thank you for all your kindness during the years. You are a wonderful person.”

* “My very first job, you guys helped make me who I am today! I think about you, (Sam, Callie and Tricia) often. Thank you for everything and happy retirement!”

* “You will be missed as you were my first job and I had some good memories there.”

* “The DiBlasi’s shop has been a big part of the Denver Community for many years. Thank you for everything, including giving me a shot when I was just a high school kid looking for my first job.”

* “I worked there during high school. All the food was wonderful, of course the cheese steaks. That is where I learned to eat dill pickles wrapped in a piece of American cheese. Still do this and think about working there. Fun memories. Your mom and dad were wonderful to me, she always called me short stuff.”

* “This was my first job!”

* “Wow! This was my very first job ever and it taught me so much more about life than I ever realized at the time. Thanks Sam for hiring me years ago and giving me my first job.”

“Most people know I’ve had the business up for sale the last few years,” said Sam DiBlasi.

“Some people looked into the property for a pizza shop, and didn’t necessarily want the entire building. Other interested parties weren’t able to secure the financing necessary to purchase the place.”

When the DiBlasis acquired the three-story building, it housed an American Grocery Store. Currently the borough of Denver has no grocery store.

The local populace could depend upon DiBlasi’s to be open six days a week, even in inclement weather. Monday was the only day it closed. Recently, DiBlasi’s was closed Mondays and Tuesdays.

DiBlasi’s food is popular with two generations of residents, and, in some families, three.

Sam’s steak sandwiches have a loyal following, while others say his burgers and meatball Parmesan sandwiches are their standard orders.

Customers can eat in the sh op or call in orders for pick-up, a popular local custom for busy Friday nights before sports events or Sunday evenings when no one wants to cook and everyone wants to eat.

Borough Manager Mike Hession was among those lamenting the upcoming closing.

“We’ll miss DiBlasi’s,” he said. “It was a place that you counted on and simply was always there for you.

“It’s a loss for our community and, in particular, our downtown which we work hard to cultivate as our business district.”

The notice on DiBlasi’s door reminds customers it will close from Aug. 6 through Aug. 16. The eatery’s final days will be Aug. 17 through 20.

About

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *