What the hell? Of all the old businesses in New York City, Manganaro's Grosseria Italiana and its bete noire brother restaurant, Manganaro's Hero Boy, make it the hardest to be a pure-hearted preservationist. You want to support them. You want to carry the torch. But the ornery owners are so damn difficult and contrary that half the time you want to shove that torch in their face.
Recently, an article in the Wall Street Journal reported that the Manganaro clan that runs the Grosseria Italiana (and has warred for decades with the half of the family that operate Hero Boy a couple doors down) was going to sell the building and close the business. At the time, I was amazed that the Journal actually managed to get the owners to sit down and be civil enough to willingly take part in an interview. They are, after all, widely know for abusing their customers.
But now they're back on form. Seline Dell'Orto, proprietor of Manganaro's Grosseria Italiana, told the New York Observer that they were furious with the Journal. "We're not closing!" Ms. Dell'Orto barked. "No one said that to that idiot reporter!" Nice.
A spokesperson from the Wall Street Journal responded: "While not the best [headline] we've ever written, it's meant to convey the process of closing rather than the moment of closure."
Another revelation: shrewish Seline has feelings! "I alienated a lot of people," she said. "I've said mean things. I'm not an angel, but I'm better than that. That's why I'm crying. I can't tell you how many nights I didn't sleep over something I said to someone."
Stay tuned until next week, when Seline expresses her indignation with the Observer article.