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Martignetti's is closing

The North End Martignetti's is closing, last date likely to be Jan 7 2008. The Brighton one will remain - but rumors are it will shut too. Martignetti's will focus on distribution.

If you live in Boston proper, and have no car, what can compare for price and variety? I know there's Blanchards, Martys, Brooklin Liquor Mart, but will have to take T. Any Martignetti-alike in Back Bay, South End, Gvt Center area?

Just got back from Martignetti's and some of the staff has worked there for decades. Very sad.

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  1. If true, I'm not entirely surprised: the family has been focusing primarily on distribution, which is where I would assume the money is, and the North End Martignetti's is comparatively tiny and cramped as far as modern liquor stores go. It would definitely be a shame to lose the Brighton store, though: though I live within easy walking distance of both Marty's and Blanchard's (both fine stores), the Martignetti's on Soldiers Field Road is my go-to liquor store.

    1. Yeah, I hear it's gonna be a Citizen's Bank.

      There's a (pretty pathetic) liquor store on Hanover, and the wonderful Ciracce's on North Street.

      1. I was driving on Cambridge Street near Charles Street on Thursday and noticed a store called " Top Shelf" - it looked like a liquor store. Anyone know??

        1 Reply
        1. re: emilief

          It's a convenience store / liquor store; it's tiny, small selection. You're better off w/ Charles Steet Liquors around the corner (which still isn't large).

        2. What a shame.

          It is hard to see a neighborhood fixture move out and see the branch of a bank move in, especially on a prominent corner that helped establish the food/wine character of the area.

          1. This story has been around for a while. In the NE, I like to shop at Wine Bottega...they have a lot of lesser known wines at fair prices..carry a lot of the same wines as Brix, Cirace's has been there for years and is very good. Golden Goose is working to improve their selection..and be more price competitive.

            Goose and Wine Bottega both have free tastings on Fri from 5 or 6-8. It worth it to get on WB's email list.

            1. What a shame. Just what Boston needs, another bank. Liquorland in the South End is closing after New Years as well. They have been open for over 40 years. A CVS is going in the space. Boston is rapidly loosing its charm and distinctiveness.

              2 Replies
              1. re: melikey

                I would hope that our charm and distinctiveness can be found in places other than our liquor stores.

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps

                  I would hope so too.

                  With all respect, you missed the point. Unfortunately this is a baby step in the loss of "charm and distinctivenes" seen in so many aspects of Boston today.

                  We are moving away from the small town feel that drew me to Boston many years ago and closer to a New York feel, with many of the shortcomings and few of the virtues.

                  That being said, the restaurant vibe is exciting and better every year.

              2. Not in the neighborhoods that you've named, but I like Cambridge Wine & Spirits in the Fresh Pond Mall. It's a longish walk over the bridge from the Alewife T stop, and perhaps a bit forbidding if you're going to buy a few cases of wine and use public transport, but the varieties and pricing are pretty good across the board. Good beer selection including Belgians, and it's one of my go to places for some of my quirky favorites including ports, sherries and Turkish raki. http://www.mallliquors.com/ for details.

                1 Reply
                1. re: Dr.Jimbob

                  I used to shop there a lot when we lived in Arlington. They carried what used to be my "house wine" - Escudo Rojo (Chile) which we discovered when we lived in Ohio of all places. I haven't seen it anywhere else around here.

                2. wine emporium in south end--two locations--but not size of a martignetti. clarendon wine shop and bauer in back bay. heard about a new bargain wine shop opening next year....not too much info on their website yet, but sounds cool from what there is. binendswine.com.

                  1. Very sad- I've long been a fan of the Gendzier's Wine Deal and will miss the Brighton store if it goes.

                    1 Reply
                    1. re: twitchcraft

                      That's sad to hear, the Brighton store had a nice collection of rare wines.

                    2. As a former North Ender so sad!
                      However the Duck on Salem is expanding.
                      and who knows when the supposive Stop n Shop is going to go in near North Station?

                      1. I remember when Martignetti's carried cheeses and cold cuts. We worked in Govt Center and every so often we'd make a Martignetti's run and make our own Italian cold cut sandwiches. Later I'd stop in Martignetti's on a Friday night to stock up on wine on the way to my bus at Haymarket. Ah.............good times................

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: mtm7654

                          Now there is no good place for beer in the immediate area. Guess I'll be treking up route one to Kappy's.

                          1. re: phatchris

                            While I also have a soft spot for the North End Martignetti's for beer too, SavMor on McGrath I would say has a better selection than the Brighton Martignetti's and Kappy's. Either 5 minutes or 30 away depending on traffic on Leverett Cir. Certainly more european and good breadth of microbrews. They also have some unusual mixers that the other two don't carry (more Marie Brizzard), plus a good selection of 5L portuguese wines. I am not so hot on their wine selection overall.

                            Not much on beer, but the J Pace behind MGH (Blossom Ct) at times had interesting wines. Wine Bottega is much better on that count, but I could easily walk to Pace from East Cambridge and make other purchases at the same time.

                            As Dr Jimbob mentioned Alewife Wine and Spirits also is good for beer, although I haven't had as much luck with wine there since they changed from Mall Discount (which had all sorts of unusual wine, as long as you didn't shop from the wooden bins). I actually have better luck from the Kappy's across the street, although its really poorly organized. I also have struck out there looking for mixers and bourbon I thought they would carry (ended up at the Porter Sq liquor store which is pretty cool for its size, although almost as expensive as Downtown). They also went from having surly North Cambridge folks at the registers, to using models so you feel like you are buying beer at Avalon on a Friday night.

                            1. re: itaunas

                              Thanks for the reminder on Savmor. I've had pretty good luck finding decent american beers at Kappy's. Especially IPA's my drink of choice.

                        2. I used to live above them. I would climb out my bedroom window on Saturday nights and drink beers while people watching. AHHH memories.

                          1. Oh my gosh that would be horrible if they close down- it's my go to store. The one further up on Hanover is way overpriced and the size of the average NE apartment, a shoe box!

                            1. Wine Cask in Somerville is terrific - a wonderful array of reasonably priced wines from around the world - plus cheeses, gourmet food items, sandwiches to go. It has a charm of its own and a knowledgeable staff.