On August 30th, John Amato Sr. passed away at the age of 88 years old. John was the patriarch of the current family behind Fiore’s House of Quality — he first started working at the famed Hoboken deli in 1948, later purchasing the store from its original owner (Mr. Fiore) in 1965. In an Instagram post announcing his passing, the Fiore’s team credited John for making Fiore’s the iconic fixture it is today. The store was his “second home,” and his favorite thing was to work alongside his family, serving the City of Hoboken the freshest mutz around.
Hoboken will miss John immensely. His contribution to our community was truly indelible, and The Hoboken Girl feels lucky to have seen him on our (many) Fiore’s runs. John Amato Sr.’s legacy lives on through the Fiore’s team, his family, and his son John Amato Jr., who will continue to serve unmatched Italian eats in town. We send all our love to John’s family, friends, and coworkers.
In celebration of John Amato Sr., we’re going back in the archives to share the history of his family business and Hoboken landmark, Fiore’s House of Quality, located at 414 Adams Street. Read on to learn more about Fiore’s and its historic Hoboken roots.
A Look Into The Past
The deli was originally started by the Fiore Family in 1903 when a loaf of bread cost you a nickel. YES, a nickel. Back in those days, it served as a place for patrons to buy their weekly cold cuts; the deli didn’t start serving sandwiches until way later.
John Amato Sr. started working there in the mid-1960s as a delivery boy, and he and his son, John Jr., made the mutz and ran the shop. The Amato Family has been running things for the last few, nearly six, decades. Nothing has changed much since the start, and despite the many changes in town, Fiore’s is still one of the most popular delis in Hoboken and is a staple in our community.
“There are a lot of changes, but the young kids who have moved here know about us. They still come in and support our business and bring home mozzarella to their families.”
^ Ham and mutz
The funny thing about the menu is that there is none. So, before you go, you should know some of the daily sandwich specials.
Monday — Virginia Ham
Tuesday — Corned Beef
Wednesday — Sausage with Red Sauce
Thursday + Saturday — Roast Beef, Mozz + Gravy (MUST TRY!)
Friday — Tuna
Listen, we have tried every single sandwich (for YOUR benefit, of course), and all of them are equally delicious, but the one sandwich that tops the rest is the Roast Beef Special (above, stuffed with RB, fresh mutz, + brown gravy). That is what Fiore’s is known for. If there is ever any doubt in your mind, or you are fumbling at the counter, just go with that one (if you’re there on a Thursday or Saturday, that is), and you won’t be disappointed.
Make sure that you come hungry because the sandwiches are loaded. A half sandwich is plenty for lunch. You can also order fresh cold cuts, roasted red peppers, stuffed peppers, and everything else in between. The bread used to be baked fresh at Dom’s Bakery (which closed earlier this year), and Amato’s Bakery in North Bergen.
Know Before You Go
When it comes to Fiore’s, we are seasoned vets. So listen up, as it’s not every day you’ll get all of the secrets to ordering here: you’ll look like you’ve been there before.
First things first, call ahead to order if you are in a rush, especially if it is Saturday. The line is going to be out the door (proof that all mozzarella heals all wounds). If you do order ahead, walk in, step to the side, and tell them you placed a phone order. If you decide you want to hang out on line, make sure you know what you want to order beforehand, as it can get pretty overwhelming.
More Pro Tips
– Fiore’s is cash ONLY.
– As you’re on line to order, make sure to grab the bread you want for your sandwich (look to the right when you walk in, you’ll see what we mean).
– DO NOT, we repeat, DO NOT, put your mutz in the fridge. This is super important and if you’re ordering a large quantity the guys behind the counter will always tell you. Room temp is best, trust. If the mutz is put in the fridge right away it will become hard and just not good (which almost seems impossible but seriously, it ruins the piece of art that Fiores mutz is).
– Add roasted peppers to any sandwich to be WOWed — but keep a mint on the side for after because, holy garlic.
– Fiore’s is a great place to get cold cut platters for a holiday. They get A LOT of orders for the holidays so if you want something, plan ahead.
– When you order, say it like this: “I’ll have a half (or whole), with mutz + prosciutto” as you hand them your bread. You will look and sound like a local (if you aren’t) and not to mention, a total badass.
– Fiore’s is closed on Sundays, so if you want your fix, make sure to get it before then.
Fiore’s is one of the oldest standing businesses in Hoboken. Stop by Monday through Saturday from 8:00AM-6:00PM for an unforgettable experience and meal. Bring your family home at least a pound of fresh mutz and enjoy.
And let’s not forget one very important factor, Fiore’s has parking. Yes, even though cars are always double-parked out front, there is a parking lot! So if you’re coming from out of town or don’t want to deal with the anxiety of wondering if you’ll get ticketed, just park in Fiore’s free lot.