La Sandwicherie adds a French touch to Driggs Avenue
Greenpoint’s newest sandwich shop, The Sandwich Shop (156 Driggs Ave.), opened on Monday, September 19 near McGolrick Park.
The store began as a food truck parked near McCarren Park for a year, serving high-quality French sandwiches to park visitors until one summer afternoon when a customer made an offer to the owners.
Greenpoint resident Daron Yemini, who calls himself ‘a recovering lawyer, real estate investor and broker’, visited the cart with his daughter and tried the ham sandwich, something he said he he wouldn’t normally order. He loved the sandwich so much that he asked truck owners Laurent d’Antonio and Massire Diawara if they would be interested in partnering up to open a more permanent location.
Yemini joked that even her daughter wondered if her intentions were serious. But he already knew the perfect place for La Sandwicherie. “I felt the need to have a great sandwich shop in the neighborhood, and once this place appeared on the market, I knew what it had to be,” said Yemeni. green pointers about the little storefront of 156 Driggs. The trio secured a lease on July 15 and, within two months, transformed the storefront into a boutique offering French sandwiches, Italian coffee and French groceries.
La Sandwicherie’s menu includes baguette sandwiches, paninis and crepes. Baguette sandwiches include one Yemini tried called Le Parisien with French ham, brie cheese, tomatoes, arugula and mayonnaise. There’s also one called Le Thon with tuna, another called La Truffle Burrata and Prosciutto, and a vegetarian and dairy-free option called Le Veggies.
The panini can be served hot or cold and has options like Le Trois Fromage with Swiss, blue and goat cheeses, and Le Notre Dame with pastrami, Swiss and mustard. Pancake options contain a selection of sweet flavors including Nutella, sugar, honey and jam. Pastries, such as croissants, will also be offered.
The cafe, however, is not French. It’s Italian, and d’Antonio called it “the best coffee in New York,” explaining that it’s made by an Italian and roasted in Italy. “If you offer coffee, it should be the best,” d’Antonio said. Along with traditional espresso drinks like cappuccinos and cortados, drinks like tea, hot chocolate, and fresh orange juice are on the menu.
The grocery section of La Sandwicherie includes French products that are hard to find in the United States. Several grocery shelves include items like a gluten-free cake, flavored syrups that can be added to sparkling water, cookies, deli meats, cheese, specialty sauces, organic breads like baguettes and even French bath products.
In addition to specialty groceries and gourmet fare, there are decorative touches throughout the space that make La Sandwicherie truly special. For example, the floor was hand painted by d’Antonio’s artistic friend and depicts a map of France, the home of d’Antonio and Diawara.
Antonio’s Frenchman, known as Chef Lolo, has owned a business in New York for 17 years. “When COVID came I was struggling a lot…I really didn’t know how to approach the future,” he said. “I had an idea while walking in the park and looking at food carts.”
D’Antonio pitched the food truck idea to “his favorite employee” and fellow Frenchman Diawara, who worked at Antonio’s Williamsburg Pâté et Tradition restaurant, which sadly closed in 2020 due to the pandemic, but will reopen under the new name Maison Provence next year. Diawara explained that the idea was a fateful coincidence as he had just obtained his food truck license.
Diawara ended up being the one working at La Sandwicherie’s food truck when Yemini visited. “While he was eating a delicious ham sandwich that I had prepared for him, I explained to him the concept of the food truck,” explains Diawara. Yemini said the sandwich “hit the spot” and made the suggestion on the spot. Diawara replied that he needed to talk to his partner, so Yemini said he would be back in a few days. Yemini said green pointers that he didn’t have to come back, but he was so sure of the partnership that he did.
Diawara couldn’t be more enthusiastic about La Sandwicherie, stating that “I can proudly say that this ambitious young boy from Paris is now the owner of a restaurant in New York”.
You can try the fateful ham sandwich, the “best coffee in New York”, or buy specialty French groceries at La Sandwicherie every day from 8:00 a.m. to 8:00 p.m.