19 February 2009

Gino in Danger

I'm sorry, but what is going on? I was just at Gino, the Upper East Side red-sauce stalwart, and it was crowded—on a Wednesday, at 7 PM, in a recession.

And now it's reported, by Eater via the Times, that the 64-year-old place is on the verge of extinction?

When you’re 64 years you feel the chill a bit more than the younger folks. So if the economy doesn’t warm up, said Michael Miele, the chef and one of the owners of Gino on the Upper East Side, the restaurant will close.

Mr. Miele was one of the trio of Gino employees who bought the place in 1980 from Gino Circiello, who opened the Upper East Side icon in 1945. (The others were Sal Doria and Mario Laviano, who died in 2006.)

“We’re down 70 percent over the past couple years,” he said, “especially now, forget it, we’ve got a big drop. If business stays like this, if it doesn’t pick up we can’t afford to stay open, we’re losing money.”

The zebras must not die! Here are a few possibly helpful suggestions for the old boys, should they choose to take them. Gino, you are an expensive restaurant, even for things like pasta. Try adding a few more economical items on the menu. How about a dinner prix fixe, something that would allow a diner to get out for under $30? A better, more thoughtful wine list wouldn't hurt. And try making better drinks; the cocktail are big, but on the sloppy side.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

As I noted at Eater, the fact that Gino's problems have been going on for a couple of years means that the current recession isn't entirely to blame. Economic conditions were pretty good two years ago.