Carbone's Italian Sausage Deli is closing...maybe

Categories: Cafe Society

Lori Midson

For the last several months, we've received text messages, e-mails and Facebook alerts that Carbone's, everyone's favorite Italian deli and market, is shuttering, which would break more than a few hearts -- including mine. And I've spoken to "Mama" Rosa Lonardo, the matriarch of Carbone's, a few times on the phone since the anguished cries of "Nooooooo!" first started in May, and she's hedged, sometimes saying that, yes, she's closing, while other times insisting that, no, she's not.

I spoke with her again today after chef/restaurateur Frank Bonanno posted a tweet that echoed what we've been dreading.

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Today, at least, it's so. "I don't got no choice," she tells me in her thick Italian accent. "Nobody in the family wants to do this, and I can't do it anymore," she adds, noting that her sons may keep the wholesale business up and running. "That's an option, but they can't do both. It's just too much for them to carry on. You can't enjoy your family."

Rosa, who's 73 and in the deli every day that it's open, has been holding down the fort at Carbone's for the past 37 years, and in that time, she's never taken a break, never gone on vacation. "I haven't been to Italy in 29 years. I'm going to forget everything and go."

Or is she? At the end of our conversation, she paused: "I don't know. Maybe I'll stay open."

But if she does close, it'll be between her and her legendary meatball sandwiches. She'll do so on her own terms, with no fanfare, no big announcement, no hoopla.

Location Info

Carbone's Italian Sausage Deli - CLOSED

1221 W. 38th Ave., Denver, CO

Category: Restaurant

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My Voice Nation Help

There has been a "For Sale" sign hanging in the window of Carbone's on and off for the past 5 years.


I think it gives Mama one more reason to complain about her lazy family.


Arabian Bar, Pagliacci's, now Carbones? Where did the North Side go?

davebarnes topcommenter


"13 Hotel Secrets... [from the] Reader's Digest"?

What is the correlation between WW readers and Reader's Digest readers? Approaching zero would be my guess.


Boo - not my favorite Italian sandwich in Denver but a great place served by an incredibly friendly lady.


 @JakeBrowne to douche bad hipsters.


What the fuck, indeed.  Everything is disappearing.  I feel for her, and wanting to retire (and also being conflicted), but this is just another dagger in my NW Denver Italian heart.

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