Our History




Citarella is established
Original owner, Mike Citarella, opens his business in upper Manhattan. Years later, he moves Citarella to 75th Street, occupying just a fraction of the space that Citarella’s Upper West Side store (and flagship location) now claims.

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June 1983

Joe buys Citarella
Having already established himself at the historic Fulton Fish Market, Joe purchases Citarella. He immediately begins working to change the face of this seafood shop. His new aesthetic will be fresh, clean, and pristine.

June 1985

Joe buys Lockwood & Winant
Having vowed from the beginning to bring the freshest, highest-quality seafood from the fishing boats onto New Yorker’s plates, Joe seizes the opportunity to eliminate any middle man. He purchases seafood supplying company Lockwood & Winant, which enables him to buy directly from trusted fishermen and offer the day’s best catch in his store at a fair price.

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June 1992

June 1992 Citarella Meats opens
With a thorough understanding of how to handle highly perishable foods like fresh seafood, Joe sets his focus on applying this knowledge and expertise to quality meats. Citarella Meats opens next door to Citarella Fish and features expert butchers, prime meats, and steaks cut from sides of beef that have been dry-aged in-house for 21 days.

October 1994

Meat & Fish combined into one store
The wall between Citarella Meat and Citarella Fish comes down, creating one, larger store.

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Smoked Fish, Deli, Prepared Foods, Cheese & Produce introduced
As the Citarella family grows, so do the store’s individual departments. With the addition of seasoned chefs and expert buyers, Citarella expands to include smoked fish, a deli counter, chef-prepared foods, artisanal cheeses, and a selection of carefully curated produce.


Warehouse on 18th Street opens
Quickly outgrowing their space on the Upper West Side, Citarella’s kitchen moves downtown to 18th Street.

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June 1997

2nd Floor of Citarella West
Citarella expands again: Joe adds a second floor to his gourmet market allowing him to open a pastry department and an artisanal cheese counter.

September 1997

Citarella East opens
New Yorkers are hungry for more Citarella so Joe opens the gourmet market’s second location on Manhattan’s Upper East Side.

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May 2000

Water Mill opens
New Yorkers love Citarella, and they are thrilled to welcome the store to one of their favorite get-away destination: the Hamptons! An instant success, the Water Mill store remains in business for 10 years, until a larger building is available for purchase and the more easily accessible Bridgehampton location opens.

August 2001

Citarella, The Restaurant opens
His first restaurant venture, Joe opens four-story, Mediterranean-American eatery Citarella, The Restaurant in Rockefeller Center. The restaurant operates for 5 years, closing at the end of 2006.

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August 2001

Citarella To Go opens
Attached to the restaurant in Rockefeller Center, Citarella To Go feeds hungry New Yorkers for 5 years, elevating lunchtime fare with gourmet soups, sandwiches, and salads.

May 2002

East Hampton opens
Joe opens his second gourmet market in the Hamptons, expanding Citarella’s presence there and introducing the Citarella ToGo concept.

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April 2003

Greenwich Village opens
Located in what was once the original Balducci’s location, Citarella’s Greenwich Village store is open for business after 2 months of complete renovations.

April 2005

Warehouse moves to Hunts Point
As Citarella continues to grow, so does the need for additional space. The warehouse and kitchen are relocated to a larger space in the Bronx.

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June 2005

Harlem store opens
Citarella opens in Harlem, responding to the local resident’s desire for more fresh and wholesome food options. Citarella remains a part of the community for the next 4 years.

July 2005

Tutto Italiano opens
Tutto Italiano means “everything Italian” — a promise that is delivered by way of freshly baked pizza and focaccia, a salumeria, a full line of Italian oils and vinegars, and more. Tutto Italiano brings a little slice of Italy to the Hamptons for 5 years before closing their doors. Tutto Italiano also serves as the impetus for adding Citarella Pizza to future Citarella ToGo’s.

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May 2007

Meat Without Feet opens
Considering that Joe got his start by supplying fresh seafood to Wolfgang Puck and other top chefs in LA during the 1980’s, it’s only fitting that he establishes Meat Without Feet — a seafood purveying business that now supplies some of New York City’s best chefs and restaurants.

October 2008

Fulton restaurant opens
Smaller and more relaxed than Citarella, The Restaurant, Fulton enjoys a successful 6-year run on New York City’s Upper East Side.

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May 2009

Bridgehampton opens
Another location on Long Island’s South Fork, Joe purchases a building for a new Citarella in Bridgehampton —with lots of space, a to go counter, fresh pizza, sushi, a salad bar, hot food, a soup bar, and outdoor seating.

June 2014

Southampton opens
After searching for years, Joe finds the perfect building to purchase for Citarella Southampton. Citarella now has a gourmet market in East, Bridge, and South Hampton towns, solidifying their place as a local institution.

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June 2015

Greenwich, CT opens
After receiving numerous requests to expand into Connecticut, Joe opens his largest gourmet market to date. Classic Citarella with a few extras, this store offers a carving station, a towering glass case of dry-aged beef, and an adjacent wine shop.

June 2015

Citarella Wines & Spirits opens
Joe’s passion for fantastic food and wine is fully realized with the opening of his first (and only) wine shop next door to Citarella’s gourmet market in Greenwich, CT.

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October 2015

Citarella Seafood Authority website launches
New York City’s leading source of fresh seafood for more than a century, Citarella launches a new website offering online ordering and nationwide delivery.

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Hours of Operation:
Monday to Saturday 10 am to 8 pm
Sunday 10 am to 6 pm