It’s a big birthday year for Fertitta’s Deli, 1124 Fairfield Ave. The little deli that started off life as a neighborhood deli/grocery store turned 96 in 2023!
It is also Agatha Fertitta McCall’s 46th year as owner. Great things are happening at the little eatery. Agatha’s son Patrick is back in the business and introduced a new trademarked ‘Godfather’ sandwich which is a sell out whenever it is offered, and his Trinacria novellas continue to gain popularity on Amazon and other platforms. You can read Trinacria: Blood Washes Blood online or purchase a print copy.
Agatha told us this week that they are considering a tentative date of Saturday, Feb. 14 to have a book signing at the restaurant with copies of the books for sale that day. We will keep you updated on this! Our congratulations to Agatha on keeping a family business alive and thriving, and to Patrick for not only chasing a dream, but catching it, too!
April 7, 2022
It’s been a season of change for Fertitta’s Deli, 1124 Fairfield Ave. The little building and business there have been a part of downtown since it was constructed by John and Mary Fulco in 1927. When the business first opened, it was a delicatessen that catered to the bustling neighborhood around it.
In 1949, the business became the Crystal Supermarket, your “complete food mart with fresh fish everyday.’ By 1960 as the nearby neighborhood continued to empty out and times got tight, the family decided to do something completely different.
They became the first grocery store in the area to import foods from Italy by way of New Orleans- Italian meats, olives and pasta- and the business then morphed into Fertitta’s Delicatessen. For more than 40 years, Agatha Fertitta-McCall, granddaughter of John and Mary Fulco, and husband Robert McCall, continued the family tradition of welcoming hungry diners to their little restaurant.
As a wise person once said, ‘the more things change, the more they stay the same.’ in 2021, son Patrick Fertitta moved back to Shreveport to assist in the family business, and in February, Robert McCall passed away.
It was a sad time for the Ferttita-McCalls, but also a time to reflect on the wonderful history of the business, and of the special family that has been a part of it from the beginning. There has been a renewed interest in revisiting some of the business’ historic roots- in late 2021, Patrick Fertitta began Padre Fertitta Foods. He is once again importing fine Italian olive oil, balsamic vinegars, cold cuts and marinara, and bottling wonderful pickled vegetables.
There is also work being done on the buildings exterior. For years, the neon sign atop the building has been dark; no more.
Coca-cola emblems stolen from the building have been replaced, and the concrete containers outside have been planted with flowers bursting with color.
It is as if the little restaurant is saying that sad times only make you grow stronger, more determined. If there was ever a fear that this wonderful little place might vanish quietly into that good night, it seems the answer is a strong and more determined, ‘no.’