A reader called Rocky's Regular passed along word that Rocky's Italian Restaurant, on Mulberry and Spring, will soon be shutting its doors after more than 30 years in business.
The Regular says, "I was talking to Emma the owner about it, and my heart breaks for her. This restaurant is her life. She is a real New Yorker--a hard-working chick from the Bronx and such a part of the neighborhood."
The owner shares the news on Rocky's Facebook page:
"Rocky's Italian Restaurant ...first opened it's doors in the 70's and has been family owned and operated since myself (Emma) and Family took it over in 1994.....through the years we have welcomed friends, family, locals and tourist who come to Little Italy to enjoy a real authentic homestyle Italian meal....our dining room has become yours.
We look forward to continuing welcoming you to what we call home...but sadly we are forced to close our doors after many months of negotiations our landlord decided not to give us our renewal. He choose to give it to our neighbor Balaboosta Restaurant who is new to our neighborhood just about a year. So it is with deep regret that we will be shutting our doors the end of 2011."
Says Rocky's Regular, "It's the story of the old-school Italian joint vs. the foodie new kid on the block who gets all the attention in the press but doesn't have any soul."
*Update: Eater talked to the owner of Balaboosta, who told them, "she will open a second location of her super successful falafel joint Taim in the location. And she wants to make it very clear, both to the people in the neighborhood and the restaurant world nostalgists, that this was not a standoff between her business and Rocky's. She was not the one to push them out."