Superior Pasta, a part of the Italian Market since 1948, has closed, but its owner is not ruling out a revival.
Joe Lomanno Sr., who owned the shop at 905 Christian St. with his son, Joe Jr., since 1999, said that the business had been operating on a month-to-month agreement and that the rent was “not feasible, as we’re going into the worst time of the year.”
The Lomannos had sold the building in August 2018, and though he had no problems with the building owner, “being a tenant just wasn’t right for us.”
Lomanno, whose son is in real estate, said he has mixed emotions about the closing. Business during the pandemic was solid, thanks to online sales through its website and the delivery service Mercato. But ultimately, the business depends on walk-in traffic that has not come back. “Our customers are magnificent,” he said. “Not being there is the hardest part of closing.”
Lomanno, 76, was an executive for a global transportation company when he bought the business. His son ran the production end. Superior added a line of vegan pasta and prepared food several years ago, helping the company stay relevant.
Lomanno said a customer was looking out for a new location.
The Superior Pasta name was attached to a boutique grocery on Locust Street near Rittenhouse Square from 1997 to 2001. Tom and Margaret DelColle operated the shop under an agreement with former Superior owner Ellis Shore, and continued informally for several years under the Lomannos.