28 December 2009

Gino's to Close on Dec. 31

Say goodbye to this familiar yellow door.

Eater reports that the New York Post reports that the 64 year-old Upper East Side restaurant Gino's will close on Dec. 31. The word came from a union rep. The restaurant has been grappling with its union over a new contract for some time.

Reports surfaced this month that the troubled Gino would be saved as a white-knight buyer rode in to scoop up the joint, famous for its zebra wallpaper and old-school dishes like veal parmigiana and chicken cacciatore.

But Dell'Aguzzo told The Post this week a buyer has not materialized and that the Lexington Avenue eatery will not survive.
Co-owner Salvatore Doria told The Post he couldn't talk about details of the restaurant's problems.

"In a few weeks, we'll know exactly what's the story," he said. "The place is known worldwide. It's a piece of Manhattan. The problem is the economy."

Dell'Aguzzo believes the owners of Gino floated the notion of a buyer so workers would stay on for one last Christmas season before the inevitable closing.

The union and management have been fighting since October, when the workers' contract expired and they balked at a request to pay half their health insurance and pension in a new pact.

Dell'Aguzzo said he was told that because of the economy, the owners wanted to sell but couldn't because of the labor contract.

News that the restaurant is on its deathbed left longtime patrons distraught.

"There's a general sadness and disbelief; it's a great tragedy," said Allen Falcona, 77, a patron since 1957.
"It will have a huge effect upon a lot of customers, who come daily and sometimes twice a day."

I'm glad I took the time to have lunch there last week. Perhaps I will return before Thursday. I can't say. This is hard to take, and hard to believe. Is there any business in New York that New Yorkers truly care enough about to fight for? Or are we all just too defeated at this point.


Unknown said...

You would think that the union would try to work something out with the owners. Isn't some job better than no job?

Ed said...

I live near by. Ironically, I would have never heard of this place if it wasn't for the coverage of its closing. So I went there earlier in the month and wound up liking it. I guess I'll get to eat there twice.

Too answer your question, too defeated. I'm actually eating in more.

Melanie said...

I love reading your blog. I hope you continue to post regularly for a long time to come......

Anonymous said...

still open as of today 2/8/2010

Anonymous said...

Looks like it is closing at the end of May! So sad. http://www.landmarks45.org/archives/122