Thursday, January 26, 2012

Torrisi on Rocco

When we first heard that the super-trendy Torrisi would be taking over 90-year-old Rocco's on Thompson St., I contacted the Torrisi team and asked them some questions about their plans and their decision to move into the ousted third-generation business' space when many already empty spaces were available nearby.

They didn't respond. But they seem to be answering my questions--and some of your comments--in yesterday's interview with the Observer.

Per the Observer:

The sniping came via comments appended to various blog posts concerning the newest addition to the Torrisi family: In November, the partners signed a lease for a Thompson Street space that, until now, housed the old-school red-sauce Italian joint Rocco Ristorante. The original owner’s rent was more than doubled by the space’s landlord. Rocco’s owner threatened to take the landlord to court, and the classic neon red ROCCO sign with him.

The new restaurant, which won’t open for “a while” (per Mr. Zalaznick) will cap an extraordinary growth period for the Torrisi empire, which seems to have struck a nerve by bringing a modern sensibility to Italian-American staples.

Still, the idea of the buzziest new restaurant group in town replacing a 90-year-old standby has generated a certain amount of controversy.

“This space was going to be available whether we took it or not,” Mr. Carbone noted. “And hopefully we’re going to be able to get in there and honor its history.”

“People want to talk about New York vanishing,” Mr. Torrisi piped in. “I think we’re rebuilding it.”

They don’t yet know exactly what they’re going to do with the space—no plans as of yet for the concept, the menu, the design, or even the name.

One thing about the Torrrisi boys’ growth into the old Rocco space is certain, however: They are definitely keeping the sign.

End of excerpt

Rocco shuttered: Stacy's Home Journal

Rocco's shuttered earlier this month and, at this point, all I want to know is: what's up with the sign? Is it going with Rocco's or staying with Torrisi? And will we see a Fedora-style xeroxing of it eventually?

Further Reading:
Red-Sauce Joints
Rocco Ristorante
Rocco's Update


tim said...

What does bringing a "modern sensibility" even mean? Sounds like more buzzwords stupid people use to make themselves sound smart.

Dracula said...

Jeremiah, I blog about similar stuff to yours. It's kind of hard not getting an ulcer sometimes, don't you think?

What time period do you think was ideal for New York City? Or just any time before 2000 or so?

Brendan said...

So I guess accepting the landlord's inflated offer is not contributing to the demise of the existing business?


JAZ said...

“This space was going to be available whether we took it or not,” Mr. Carbone noted.

Spoken by the group that will be rebuilding the vanishing New York.

Ken Mac said...

Jeremiah, Bleecker Bob's is becoming a Starbucks.

Sarah said...

The first of the two or three times I have eaten at Torrisi (can't deny that tasty turkey sandwich), I met chef's father, who was sitting with two old NYPD detectives, and we had a nice long chat about the old city, for what that's worth. He was very proud that Tony Bennett had sat in that same booth and insisted on showing me the photo. I have no idea what they're planning but they aren't interlopers.