Good old uncle Tony. Photo of the very-much-in-progress space via Martino's Facebook page.

Three guys named Chris are getting ready to open Martino’s Smoked Meats and Eatery later this month on Phinney Ridge. At 7410 Greenwood Ave N, to be precise. 

Chris Navarra is the guy behind a string of local German pubs, including the Prosts and Feierabend. Chris Gerke and Chris Martino co-own the delightful Nickerson Street Saloon, aka The Nick. 

But it’s Martino’s name on the front window, and he is spearheading the menu at what promises to be an appealing spot for carnivores and fans of a good sandwich. Martino's a big fan of places like Dot's Delicatessen and Salumi, and says the tiny 700-square-foot space will give his own neighborhood a similarly unfussy outpost for excellent meats.

Here are five reasons (for meat eaters) to get excited about Martino's.

Need I say this? Smoked meat. Don’t look for barbecue outside a few daily specials, but do expect tons of smoked chicken, tri tip, pork, and even tomatoes for salsa to emerge from the commercial smoker newly installed in the tiny 200-square-foot kitchen. Maybe even some hams and bacon, too. Martino is especially excited about a concoction dubbed the Bar-B-Cuban and consisting of smoked pork loin, onion jam, gruyere, and a mustard barbecue sauce. Chris Navarra is all about the smoked tri tip with chimichurri and a salsa made with smoked tomatoes.

…In sandwich and entrée form. “Really, really, really good sandwiches are one of my favorite things,” says Martino. The menu will focus on maybe four or five sandwiches, some entrée salads, and a few sides. He’s working on an evening menu of entrée plates, that are basically grownup, evening versions of the daytime sandwich menu, complete with side dishes like a German-style smoked potato salad with house-cured bacon, or chili made with smoked tri tip, pork loin, chicken, and red and black beans. You know, no big deal. 

There's booze. Beer and wine, to be exact—a few taps, and a few by-the-glass pours. Cross your fingers for growler fills, too.

You can hang with Uncle Tony. The space has just 14 seats, plus all the vintagey, butcher-appropriate subway and hexagonal tile that signifies meat in this town. A giant photo of an old-timey butcher, jokingly referred to as Martino’s uncle Tony, watches over the space. If you're a fan of irony, you'll appreciate that the building last housed the Chocolate Shoe Box, a much-loved vegan shoe store.

Or not hang out at all. Did I mention this joint is small? Martino expects to do a brisk carryout business: “It’s big enough where you can sit and be, and at the same time you can just run in there.” 

Martino’s Smoked Meats and Eatery will be open for lunch and dinner, most likely Tuesday through Sunday. Keep an eye on Facebook for more opening details as they emerge.

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