Sad news for coal oven–pizza lovers: Totonno's is closing both its Manhattan locations. Flyers posted at the Second Avenue & 81st Street location, relate that it will morph into a restaurant called Toscano's. (Flyer text, after the jump.) No word on what, if anything, will replace the 26th & Second Avenue location.
Totonno's owner Lawrence Ciminieri cites a rent increase at the 81st Street shop for the shuttering. "You know how it is in New York," he said when we reached him for comment this evening. "You gotta be corporate anymore — you gotta be a Papa John's — to afford it."
No worries about the Totonno's legacy, though: The original Totonno's location in Coney Island remains open for business and Ciminieri says he's thinking of opening Totonno's branches in New Jersey.
Closing Temporarily for Remodeling
Over the last couple of years there has been a lot of change to the Upper East Side on 2nd Avenue. Totonno's is also going through a change as the current ownership group has decided to scale back.
But have no fear! The prior owners have left you in the very efficient hands of a father-son duo that have been in the restaurant business for over 30 years. We will be operating under a new trade name, Toscano's, where we will be taking you back to rediscover authentic Pizza Napoletana and offering a new array of classic Tuscan dishes using the freshest natural ingredients to entice your taste buds.
Get ready to enjoy exceptional food, refined service, in a refreshing atmosphere you are sure to enjoy!
The restaurant will close Saturday, April 9, and we anticipate re-opening around April 16th–18th!
More info to follow in the coming week.
Thank you and we look forward to serving you soon.
Again: The original Totonno's in Coney Island is still open for business as usual.
[Thanks to tipster David H. for the heads-up.]