Say it aint so! Michael "Mike the Butcher" Virtuoso, owner of Williamsburg's Graham Ave Meats & Deli, was arrested yesterday on extortion charges, thanks to his side business as a loanshark for the Bonanno mafia. But what will become of his signature sandwich?!
Sandwich lovers and astute readers may recall that the Deli's (perhaps unfortunately named) "Godfather" sandwich is widely regarded as one of the best in the city ("transcendent" and "masterful" are two common descriptors); we even ranked it #79 on our list of "100 Reasons Why Brooklyn Lives Up To The Hype." Virtuoso allegedly met with at least one victim in the walk-in freezer of the shop to collect payments and threatened others in wiretapped calls. He is currently being held without bail because he is still on a supervised release for a 2009 extortion conviction.
A staffer at the Deli this afternoon said the store is still open, and will continue to be every day. He also said that the Daily News "exaggerated" much of their story, but declined to elaborate, saying only that "it's a touchy subject." We're reserving judgment upon the business dealings at the Deli, because Mob ties or not, the sandwich is what matters here, and the sandwich remains both innocent and delicious.