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Martignetti's is closing

jochaima Dec 15, 2007 09:38 AM

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. BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: jochaima Dec 15, 2007 09:56 AM

    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. b
      Bostonbob3 RE: jochaima Dec 15, 2007 10:35 AM

      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. e
        emilief RE: jochaima Dec 15, 2007 11:19 AM

        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
          ritcey RE: emilief Dec 16, 2007 07:56 AM

          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. c
          chowfamily RE: jochaima Dec 15, 2007 11:28 AM

          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. 9
            9lives RE: jochaima Dec 15, 2007 11:48 AM

            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. m
              melikey RE: jochaima Dec 15, 2007 08:13 PM

              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
                BarmyFotheringayPhipps RE: melikey Dec 16, 2007 08:10 AM

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

                1. re: BarmyFotheringayPhipps
                  Win RE: BarmyFotheringayPhipps Dec 18, 2007 09:38 PM

                  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. Dr.Jimbob RE: jochaima Dec 16, 2007 08:45 AM

                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
                  MrsCheese RE: Dr.Jimbob Dec 19, 2007 10:14 AM

                  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. c
                  chowfdf RE: jochaima Dec 16, 2007 03:07 PM

                  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. t
                    twitchcraft RE: jochaima Dec 17, 2007 06:18 AM

                    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
                      treb RE: twitchcraft Dec 17, 2007 06:58 AM

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

                    2. s
                      saltyair RE: jochaima Dec 17, 2007 08:41 AM

                      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. mtm7654 RE: jochaima Dec 17, 2007 09:00 AM

                        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
                          phatchris RE: mtm7654 Dec 17, 2007 01:30 PM

                          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
                            itaunas RE: phatchris Dec 17, 2007 02:12 PM

                            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
                              phatchris RE: itaunas Dec 18, 2007 09:07 AM

                              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. h
                          harpoonipa1967 RE: jochaima Dec 18, 2007 01:15 PM

                          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. b
                            Boston Scene RE: jochaima Dec 20, 2007 10:29 AM

                            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. f
                              fsesusan RE: jochaima Dec 24, 2007 12:40 PM

                              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.

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