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South Philly hoagie landmark Cosmi’s Deli reopens after issues are resolved

The corner deli opened in 1932 at Eighth and Dickinson Streets. Great-nephew Mike Seccia pumped up the steaks and hoagies when he took over.

A hoagie, ready for wrapping, at Cosmi's Deli at Eighth and Dickinson Streets.
A hoagie, ready for wrapping, at Cosmi's Deli at Eighth and Dickinson Streets.Read moreCOURTESY MIKE SECCIA

The slicers are spinning again at Cosmi’s Deli, the South Philadelphia sandwich mecca that shut down earlier this week because of a dispute between the landlord and a business partner of operator Mike Seccia.

Seccia would not specify the terms or elaborate on the dispute. The deli at Eighth and Dickinson Streets has returned to its usual schedule, effective Sept. 10.

Seccia announced Monday on Instagram that the shop was closed until further notice. The shutdown inspired a flurry of negotiations.

Seccia’s great-uncle, Cosmi Quattrone, founded Cosmi’s 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.)

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If you’ve been following my account for a while, you know how much I love the Chicken Cutlet Lagasse from @cosmisdeli. The chicken cutlet is the best in city, with just the right amount of grease that it’s neither too oily nor dry; the provolone is perfectly sharp; the greens are well-seasoned, whether you opt for the spinach or the broccoli rabe; the bread is excellent, though that almost goes without saying for a South Philly deli; and prosciutto just makes everything better. The one thing I’m not always crazy about is the long hots, so I usually order the sandwich without them. Not because I’m a wuss about spicy foods (okay maybe I am, but I can handle long hots), but because I think the flavor is so strong that it overwhelms the rest of the hoagie, so I can’t taste the other wonderful flavors inside. . This weekend, when we put in a hoagie order for a socially distanced picnic, I made the impulse decision to add fresh mozzarella to my Lagasse. Making that customization made me forget to also ask for the long hots on the side. But reader, what a fortuitous accident that was. Not only did the mozzarella add a wonderful creaminess to the sandwich, but it also neutralized the flavor of the long hots, meaning the sandwich had a kick to it but I was still able to taste and appreciate the other underlying flavors. The original hoagie is excellent, but now that I’ve had this variant I might never go back. Maybe Cosmi’s can call this the Lewgasse! . #food #foodie #foodies #foodiesofinstagram #foodpics #foodpic #foodpictures #phillyfood #phillyfoodie #phillyfoodies #phillyfoodblogger #phillyfoodbloggers #phillyfoodblog #ediblephilly #cityoffoodidelphia #swagfoodphilly #hoagie #hoagies #sandwich #sandwichporn #chickencutlets #chickencutlet #southphilly #cosmis #cosmisdeli

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Seccia acknowledged that he had financial difficulties several years ago (to wit, four kids in college) and took on a business partner, awarding him a majority interest. The partner and landlord did not return messages.