Sorrentino’s Meats Gets Ready to Serve Rockaway

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A taste of Italy is coming to Rockaway. Mouthwatering cuts of meat, fresh cheese, Italian delicacies and what some call the best sausage around will be found right in the neighborhood with the addition of Sorrentino’s Meat Market. The Howard Beach favorite is expected to open up shop near Beach 100th Street at the end of the month.

Locals have long made the trip to Howard Beach or parts of Brooklyn to pick up unique Italian delicacies, but you can soon save the toll. It’s coming right here. Sorrentino’s Meat Market, a favorite butcher in Howard Beach, closed up shop earlier this month begin making the move to its new location at 99-20 Rockaway Beach Boulevard.

Vincent Sorrentino has mastered the art of good meat. After all, he has been working in butcher shops since the age of 12 and before he even turned 18, he owned his very own shop, N & V Meat Market, in Glendale. Sorrentino had the Glendale store for about 33 years before he opened up a second shop, Sorrentino’s Meat Market in Howard Beach, just a few weeks before Hurricane Sandy in 2012. The shop made a quick comeback after the storm and proved to be an instant hit. Despite plenty of competition in town, Sorrentino’s customer base quickly grew from locals in Howard Beach, to those from Rockaway to Breezy Point making the trip down Cross Bay Boulevard for specialties like dry aged steaks, stuffed chicken breasts, ready-to-heat chicken cutlets or meatballs in sauce, braciole, a selection of homemade sausages, including their popular broccoli rabe sausage, plus fresh cheeses, prepared antipasti and more.

Despite offering so much, Sorrentino says he was limited in what he could offer at the Howard Beach shop. “The shop is in a shopping center near Sapienza’s that sells cold cuts, so we can’t sell cold cuts and the store is very small,” Sorrentino said. Wanting to expand, the wheels started turning and Rockaway was calling his name. “I get a lot more people from Rockaway than from Howard Beach. Rockaway and Broad Channel make up about 65 percent of my customer base and everyone would come in and say, ‘you should open up a place in Rockaway,’” Sorrentino said. So when he came across a location for rent that was three times the size of his Howard Beach store, for lower cost, it was a no brainer.

Sorrentino’s is taking over the old Bryan’s Auto space near Beach 100th and Rockaway Beach Boulevard. The large space will allow Sorrentino to sell all of his favorites, plus now he’ll be able to expand by offering cold cuts. “It’s going to be more like a market than what we had before,” he said. The space will also offer parking for about six or seven cars in the back.

Despite Curran’s Superior Meats on Beach 116th Street being a longtime staple as Rockaway’s butcher, Sorrentino says with his shop focusing more on Italian specialties and prepared meals, their differences will give shoppers more variety to choose from.

Locals agree and they’re looking forward to having the option in town. “I’m thrilled that Sorrentino’s is coming here,” Maureen Blum Del Vecchio said. “Currans will and should remain a Rockaway staple, but ‘downtown’ is becoming a vital consumer base and it’s great to offer a little variety.” Del Vecchio is one of the many residents who are already Sorrentino’s customers and has been making the trip to Howard Beach. “I’ve shopped there about half a dozen times. It’s great for Italian specialties like sausage, braciole, and cheeses, as well as the usual butcher shop fare. Plus their sales are really great and the staff is old-school and friendly,” she said.

Local Diana Rossi is also a longtime Sorrentino’s customer. “I’ve been there quite a bit and it was definitely worth the trip,” Rossi said, adding that she was one of the many customers that encouraged Sorrentino to make the move to Rockaway. “I’m so happy that they will be opening up here finally. Rockaway was in need of a quality Italian-style meat market that offers great quality and good prices.”

Kosta Makrides, another longtime local Sorrentino’s customer, believes the new shop will be a popular addition to the peninsula. “I love them. I’ve been going to Sorrentino’s ever since they opened in Howard Beach and I suggested they come to Rockaway, so I’m extremely happy that they actually are now,” Makrides said. “They have a great selection of meat, homemade Italian specialties and they make these prepared products like antipasti. Their stuff is really good and I know they’re going to be a bit hit in this community.” 

As for Sorrentino, he’s looking forward to serving the community. “At the end of the day, it’s going to be better for us because we’ll have a bigger and better place and we have a customer base out here. We’re definitely excited to come to Rockaway,” he said.

Sorrentino says he hopes to open up the shop by the end of the month. Stay tuned for updates. For more information, call 718-843-9800.

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