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‘Vinny Peanuts’ Little Italy corner co-naming O.K.’d by C.B. 2

BY THE VILLAGE SUN | Community Board 2 on Sept. 21 unanimously approved a street co-naming sign at the southwest corner of Mulberry and Grand Streets for “Vinny Peanuts”

The board’s resolution supports co-naming the spot “Vincent ‘Vinny Peanuts’ Cirelli Sabatino Corner.” It’s a lot to fit on one street sign — but “Vinny Peanuts” meant a lot to the community.

Sabatino, the board noted, was “a beloved Little Italy activist and constant presence.” He lived and worked in the neighborhood his whole life, selling peanuts and torrone — a nut and nougat confection — at the corner, hence his nickname “Vinnie Peanuts.” He died in 2020 of COVID.

Sabatino carrying the statue of Saint Gennaro at the Feast of San Gennaro procession. (Facebook)
Sabatino sold peanuts and also torrone, a hard nougat candy that he hacked into square portions with a knife and hammer. (Facebook)

His corner was a place, the board’s resolution said, “where neighborhood people gathered, socialized and shared information, along with many visitors who joined in the camaraderie, all drawn by the friendly community ambiance that ‘Vinnie Peanuts’ instilled.”

Sabatino also worked to improve the neighborhood and preserve its cultural traditions.

“Among the many initiatives he championed and worked for,” the board said, “was the establishment of the first new affordable housing in Little Italy in 75 years at 21 Spring St.; building support to assure the continuation of the San Gennaro Feast; improving and sustaining the Little Italy Mall; and creation of the Little Italy Special (zoning) District.

“Vinny Peanuts” was an institution. (Facebook)

“Vinnie Peanuts” also fundraised for the Sons of Little Italy and Lt. Joseph Petrosino Lodge, autism, Alzheimer’s, the Gift of Sight and Cooley’s anemia, plus helped the Henry Street Settlement. Little Italy residents advocating for the co-naming in a petition. The City Council will next need to approve the co-naming for it to go into effect.


  1. Beatrice Fratta Beatrice Fratta October 4, 2023

    Tony was like my uncle he was a wonderful man and is truly missed!
    And yes, he should be recognized!
    And, you’re right, someone should of stepped up and did something to honor him. I was too young to think about doing that.

    All the accolades that were given to Vinny was well deserved!
    And if you didn’t know him you wouldn’t understand the type of good person he was.

  2. Joakim Joakim September 28, 2023

    I second Josephine’s comment about Tony Longordo. He was a friend of my parents, and my mother worked a short stint in his cafe in the early ’70s. There should really be some sort of memorial for him on Mulberry Street.

  3. Josephine Marino Josephine Marino Post author | September 22, 2023

    You wrote an article on Vinny Peanuts on how they want to name the street after him.

    I must say if there was anyone that was more well known who lived on Mulberry and Grand it was Anthony “Tony” Longordo. He took care of the The Stable Bank on the corner of Mulberry and Grand. He worked in Ferrara Bakery back as a young man in the ’50s. The made the letter S cookies and the torrone in the basement on Mulberry before it was even made at Ferrari on Grand Street.

    He worked ever Feast of San Gennaro back in the ’50s and even greased the greased pole the men would climb back in the day.
    So if you feel Vinny the Peanut man should be honored ask the old-timers about Anthony “Tony “ Longordo, who sadly passed away 11 years ago. But who truly loved Mulberry Street and Grand more than anyone.

    He had opened small cafe shop on Mulberry Street and even had the “Godfather Part I” filmed in his shop. He had a novelty shop on Mulberry St selling Italian T-shirts, mugs, hats. He even owned a wooden cart selling goods on the corner of Mulberry and Grand. He was a super of 3 buildings there and fixed the boilers in basements to keep the community warm. He lived there from the 1930s till 2010, when he retired and passed away in Italy. But I can assure you, Tony was Little Italy.

    Josephine Marino

    • Joseph Granata Joseph Granata October 4, 2023

      Josephine, I agree about Tony, and I loved and respected him as much as everyone else in the neighborhood. Difference is…he moved out of the neighborhood a long time ago and died in Italy. Vinny was still living on Mulberry Street when he died.

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