Little Italy Restaurateurs Grapple With Huge Rent Hikes

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Stick your littlenecks out. Photo: Courtesy of Umberto's Clam House

The Post says that market forces are draining Little Italy of its white clam sauce, its jumbo ziti are endangered, and that no one wants to hear the classic crooners anymore: "If we go away, it will never be here again. You can't build an Olive Garden and say it's Little Italy," says Robert Ianniello of Umberto's Clam House. The restaurateur's father, of course, was running Umberto's 1.0 on Hester Street in 1972 when the mobster Joey Gallo was gunned down in its dining room, and says his most recent rent bill totaled $34,000, more than double the amount he was paying before his Mulberry Street building changed hands last month. [NYP, Related]