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stitchingirl
03-07-2010, 09:00 PM
Is it possible for Italian restaurants in the NYC area to remain open for 50 years or so?

I'm writing about a restaurant that will close its doors after so many years, but didn't know if it was believable for the restaurant to be open for like 50 years or so.

Thanks..

-Michelle :)

alleycat
03-07-2010, 09:02 PM
Fifty years and more. Go with it.

Wayne K
03-07-2010, 09:03 PM
There are Italian restaurants older than that, sure.

stitchingirl
03-07-2010, 09:57 PM
Thanks!

I never really paid attention before as to how long restaurants are in business for. I know the more successful they are, the longer they stay in business. But 50 years just sounded...right, I guess.

Bing Z
03-08-2010, 01:31 AM
Make it so that the building is owned by the restaurant owner, therefore skyrocketing rental is not a problem, but just an opportunity cost?

jclarkdawe
03-08-2010, 01:33 AM
Tavern on the Green just closed after 75 years, although with multiple owners. In New York City, a lot is going to depend on what neighborhood you're talking about. Some have been relatively stable, others are not.

Best of luck,

Jim Clark-Dawe

stitchingirl
03-08-2010, 02:09 AM
I don't think I'm going to mention the area itself, but just mention that it's in NYC.

I heard that Tavern on the Green closed. In restaurants like that, would it be one owner, handed down generation to generation? Or new management/owners who just decide to keep the name?

dolores haze
03-08-2010, 02:17 AM
My friend owns an Italian restaurant in NYC that was opened by his grandfather, handed down to his father, and is now his.

mtrenteseau
03-08-2010, 02:37 AM
I don't think I'm going to mention the area itself, but just mention that it's in NYC.

I heard that Tavern on the Green closed. In restaurants like that, would it be one owner, handed down generation to generation? Or new management/owners who just decide to keep the name?

In the case of Tavern on the Green, the building was owned by the city and it was leased to various service providers. Warner LeRoy, the owner of the equally over-decorated Maxwell's Plum and son of the producer of The Wizard of Oz, took the lease in the early 70s. His widow and daughter were forced to compete for a lease renewal and lost.

The name "Tavern on the Green" was trademarked by the LeRoys in the 80s, even though it was associated with the building before he took over. The courts are currently deciding whether the name, valued at $19 million, belongs to the LeRoys or to the City.

The Palm, at 837 Second Avenue, has been around for eighty years. It's known today as a steakhouse that serves huge lobsters, but the menu shows signs of its original intention as an Italian restaurant. The owners were from Parma, but the person who typed the city business license thought they said "Palm." (Try saying "Palm" with a Chico Marx accent and see what you think.) And to Bingain's point, yes, they own the building.

Here in Atlanta, hardly an old city by any means, has four restaurants I can think of that are eighty years old.

StephanieFox
03-08-2010, 03:23 AM
There was a Kosher dairy Jewish restaurant in NYC that my dad (born 1917) used to go as a little boy that stayed open until just a couple of years ago. It was called Ratner's and I'd make a point to go there whenever I was in NYC.
http://www.downtownexpress.com/de_84/ratnersreopensfor.html

Here's an article from 2005 that speaks to just what you want;
http://www.thevillager.com/villager_90/inlittleitaly.html

And this from last year, about an Italian restaurant in Little Italy, established in 1902.
http://travel.yahoo.com/p-travelguide-11061983R-angelos_of_mulberry_st-i

stitchingirl
03-08-2010, 04:33 PM
Thanks, Stephanie. Those were awesome links. :)

And thanks to the rest of you who replied. Much appreciation.

RJK
03-09-2010, 06:01 PM
Although not in NYC, my first job was a bus boy in a family owned Italian restaurant. The place was there 60 years ago and is still going strong with the same family, today. The original owners have gone on to the happy hunting grounds, but their son and daughter now operate the restaurant.

mtrenteseau
03-12-2010, 07:54 AM
Or new management/owners who just decide to keep the name?

A follow-up to my earlier post - a court just ruled that the City of New York owns the "Tavern on the Green" name. So the new management company can use the name.

The creditors of the LeRoy family are upset, because they were hoping to get paid from revenue earned by licensing the name.