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South Philly hoagie shop Cosmi’s Deli is closed by a business dispute — for now

Mike Seccia, whose family has owned the place since 1932, says he's caught in a tiff between his partner and the landlord.

A hoagie from Cosmi's, widely considered among the best in the city.
A hoagie from Cosmi's, widely considered among the best in the city.Read moreSHARON GEKOSKI-KIMMEL / Staff Photographer

Update: There’s been a tentative agreement, and Cosmi’s reopens at 10 a.m. Sept. 10.

Here’s why you cannot order one of Philadelphia’s finest hoagies right now:

Cosmi’s Deli, which has held the corner of Eighth and Dickinson since the depths of the Great Depression, is closed, though its operator says he believes that it’s temporary.

It’s not a coronavirus issue, said Mike Seccia, whose great-uncle Cosmi Quattrone founded the deli in 1932. Cosmi and Pauline Quattrone ran it till 1976, when Mike’s father, Leon, took it over. Mike — who added sandwiches to the menu — bought the business from his father in early 2007.

Through the pandemic, business has been fine, he said.

Cosmi’s fan base is wide, hitting high on many best-of lists, and includes Roots drummer Amir “Questlove” Thompson, who admitted to the Hollywood Reporter a few years ago that a stop at the deli was his guilty pleasure. (He’s into the honey-roasted turkey hoagie and jalapeno chips, followed by a package of Tastykake butterscotch krimpets.)

Mike Seccia acknowledged that he had financial difficulties several years ago (to wit, four kids in college) and took on Trenton-area pizzeria owner Brian Maglione as a business partner, awarding him a majority interest. The problem now, as Seccia puts it, is a dispute between Maglione and the building’s owner. Maglione would not comment on the situation. I reached out to the landlord but have not heard back.

Until the dispute is resolved, Seccia is caught in the middle and his slicer is silent. If the dispute cannot be resolved, Seccia said, he will open another deli nearby with the same sandwiches and recipes. “It’s all mine anyway,” he said. “No way Cosmi’s is going to get shut down.”