They Remember Mama


Before the pizza-pasta chain with the Italian-flag-based logo, Sbarro was the last name of “a little, tiny, petite thing” of a lady named Carmela, who ruled her Bensonhurst salumeria with an iron fist and neatly coiffed hair. Even after her boys took the casual chain to malls cross the country, Carmela Sbarro oversaw the production of 1,000 cheesecakes a week, and kept working through her 70s. Sbarro died on Saturday at age 90. Though Bensonhurst ain’t what it used to be, many still have stories about “Mama.” [City Room/NYT]