Long Island’s newest Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace will also be the largest. At 10 a.m. on Dec. 1, the ribbon is to be cut in Melville, and customers will enter a 53,000-square-foot store that was formerly Waldbaum’s.
Customers expecting Waldbaum’s supermarket standards will find them — and much more. Uncle Giuseppe’s is a mercantile monument to Italian-American suburban prosperity, with a great deal of “gioia di vivere.” Trompe l’oeil Corinthian columns support a ceiling decorated with a cloud-dotted blue sky. Murals depict scenes of the old country. The music is a bouncy blend of Italian ballads (“Al di la”), Italian-American classics (Rosemary Clooney’s “Mambo Italiano”) and Rat Pack standards (Sammy Davis Jr.’s “A Lot of Livin’ to Do”).
The selection of gourmet items is weighted heavily toward the Italian, with a large selection of imported tomatoes, pastas and olive oils. Mozzarella is made continuously throughout the day. There is also a cheese counter, a butcher shop and a fishmonger, a gelato counter, a chocolate fountain, a smoothie bar, an espresso bar, a pizzeria and 128 feet of deli and prepared foods. The produce department features both conventional and organic fruits and vegetables.
Uncle Giuseppe’s was founded in 1998 in East Meadow. Since then, the Farmingdale-based chain has opened stores in Smithtown, Port Washington, Port Jefferson Station and Massapequa, as well as in Ramsey, New Jersey.
The Melville store is in the Melville Mall on Route 110, just north of the Northern State Parkway, along with Macy’s Backstage and Field & Stream. It employs more than 250 full-time and part-time workers. Regular hours will be 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday to Saturday, 7 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. Sunday.
Uncle Giuseppe’s Marketplace is at 890 Walt Whitman Rd. (Route 110), Melville, 631-683-5900, uncleg.com.