Ruggiero's inspires strong reactions. Folks love it or hate it.
Personally, when you've got a deli, pizza shop, packie and convenience store all rolled into one, I don't see what's not to love. And if they sell it, they'll deliver it, including beers. Even during snowstorms.
The 3345 Washington St. store has been a fixture of the neighborhood for generations. But recently the Ruggiero family decided finally to call it quits. They've passed ownership to Jay Patel, whose family has a network of delis around the city. Places they own include Ashmont Market on Adams in Dorchester and New Store on the Block on Dot Ave.
"We're very experienced with this type of thing," Patel said during a Wednesday afternoon interview at one of the tables at the big windows facing the police station. "We're excited about our first location in Jamaica Plain."
Patel said his family plans to spruce up the property and take a good look at whether they are stocking what the neighborhood wants. He said they aim to improve the wine selection and revamp the menu at the deli.
Oh, and they plan to keep delivering everything they sell, including expanding their delivery hours from 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday to 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. on those days. Sunday deliveries would remain during the old 4 p.m. to 11 p.m. window.
Patel said they'll make keeping fresh stock a priority.
"There's no need for shelves to be empty when you have a good location," he said.
Patel encourages customers to tell him and the rest of the staff what suggestions you have for grocery items, deli meals and craft beers. They plan on keeping the well-known Ruggiero's name.
And Ruggiero's old-timers might want to sit down for this last bit: He's mulling bringing in some organic items too.
Full disclosure — you'll often see me at Ruggiero's on Wednesdays and Fridays typing up the cop log, which I pick up next door at the E-13 police station.