Monday, March 26, 2018



Scaletta Ristorante has been on the Upper West Side for 30 years. Recently, I walked by and looked at its old yellow sign and thought I should check it out, because the old yellow sign seemed like an indication of something authentically New York and a little bit hidden. It also made me think: That can't last.

Now I won't get the chance because the landlord gave Scaletta the boot. Last night was their last night.

West Side Rag reported the news and shared Scaletta's note to customers, which included this pointed bit:

"You might be wondering whether we were yet another victim of astronomical rents? Well, to eliminate any speculation, here’s the story.

Yes, our rent had steadily climbed up, but no, it wasn’t the ultimate reason for our closing. In fact, we were willing to stomach yet another rent increase, and invest in gut renovating our space and committing to another decade or more. No, the truth is we simply weren’t wanted. Our landlords coveted a shinier, fancier model in our place. To our landlord, as well as to many in NYC these days, a celebrity chef-owned chain, or private equity backed steakhouse sounds a lot sexier than a family-owned Italian joint.

We get it. However, when we look out at the incredible number of retail vacancies polluting our neighborhood, including one prominently empty space on our very corner, we question whether pursuing big name tenants is shrewd business or simply quixotic. Commercial vacancies have become a blight on our communities, and yet it’s not for a lack of viable business models. It’s simply short-sighted greed."

There you have it in a nutshell. Once again, if you're sick of this shit, here are some extremely simple, easy things you can do to try and create some positive change: do this and do that

Their landlord, Equity Residential, told West Side Rag, "We are excited about the possibilities the future holds for this space.”


Unknown said...

Great space
Horrible food and so old school they didnt even have grades back then if you know what I mean
UWS is just never going to be a dining destination

ScotRob said...

Who's the landlord? The building above it or a third party?

Tom said...

There was (and is) no restaurant like Scaletta in Manhattan -- old world, carpeted, calm, relaxed, like home, even a rolling dessert cart, and uniformed waiters, and delicious food. It was our go-to sanctuary, a retreat, an oasis, whose owner (Ferdo "Freddie" Grgurev) always welcomed us, a handshake for me, a peck on the cheek of my gal and her mother. Scaletta was a place to escape from whatever ailed us and that always rejuvenated us. If the new owners want "fancy," or "hopping," or "cool," they are absolute fools to think people who want that kind of restaurant scene will walk down below sidewalk level for it, which is where Scaletta was. The key point is that for every restaurant in Manhattan there is at least another at least three restaurants kind of like it, but Scaletta was unique. And now it's been disposed of like a share of stock by a group of very wealthy folks who live in Chicago. I urge you to write their chairman and CEO, if not to all of them: They are the directors of Equity Residential, Chicago-based.