Wissinoming rallies behind deli damaged in car crash

Judging by its many web reviews, Marino’s Deli is a jewel of a sandwich shop in Wissinoming. And considering that the decades-old eatery doesn’t even have a marquee sign, it surely fits the bill as a hidden gem.

Sadly, the business has been idle in recent weeks after a freak accident left a gaping hole in the Torresdale Avenue storefront and injured three people, including the owners, according to the proprietor of a neighboring business. During an Oct. 27 meeting of the Wissinoming Civic Association, John Nolen invited community members to a benefit dinner to be held Dec. 5 at the Polish-American Citizens Harmonia Club, 2404 Orthodox St. Nolen is the WCA vice president and owns Aztec Signs in the neighborhood.

The benefit is planned for 3 to 7 p.m. More details are pending, Nolen said. Information will be posted on the Wissinoming Civic Association’s Facebook page.

Photos posted to the Marino’s Deli Facebook page on Oct. 22 show the devastation that occurred when a car slammed through the front of the business. The triple-pane front window and front door were destroyed. Dozens of bricks were dislodged from the exterior wall. A roll-up security gate hangs menacingly. Plywood and caution tape have replaced the Dietz & Watson and Coca-Cola signs. An orange Licenses and Inspections notice warns passers-by to stay away. According to Nolen, the upstairs apartment has been ruled uninhabitable pending a safety inspection.

The civic association leader noted that the loss of the popular deli is already being felt by the many local residents and merchants who went there for lunch every day. There are 41 ratings on the business’ unofficial Facebook page. The average rating is 4.8 stars on a scale of 5.

In addition to the Marino’s benefit, there are several other neighborhood events on the calendar for the coming weeks.

The civic association will enter the annual Mayfair-Holmesburg Thanksgiving Parade on Nov. 22 and is hoping to bring residents, businesses and other community organizations together as one group. Last year, for example, members walked with a local scout troop. Individuals and groups with an interest in the event should contact the WCA now to help in the planning. Information and a sign-up form are available on the WCA Facebook page.

In addition, the civic association will host an interfaith Christmas Tree Lighting on Dec. 12 at 6 p.m. at St. Bartholomew Church, 5600 Jackson St. There will be hot chocolate, coffee and snacks. Visitors will be able to help decorate the tree. Ornaments will be sold for $1 each to benefit the civic group. Other churches and community groups are encouraged to contact the WCA via Facebook to coordinate their participation.

St. Bart’s Parish will have its own fundraiser, Designer Bag Bingo, on Nov. 7 at Our Lady of Ransom Hall. Doors open at 6:30 p.m. Tickets cost $35 in advance or $40 at the door. Call 215–831–1224 for information. ••