Yesterday Grub Street got an early tip from the Torrisi team that there would be big news today, but before we could blink, we learn from Eater that said news is that Mario Carbone and Rich Torrisi have taken over the Rocco space. (See a revealing video over on the restaurant’s website.) We spoke to Torrisi partner Jeff Zalaznick, who confirmed that the deal is inked: “We have a signed lease and we’re going to be taking over next year,” he said. “We’re hoping to open in fall 2012.” Zalaznick wouldn’t reveal any specific details except to note that it’s “not a night spot,” quashing earlier rumors about a Jay-Z-involved club. Meanwhile, Rocco’s owner, Antonio DaSilva, told us his landlord is “more than doubling” the rent (to $18,000, if Eater’s figure is correct), and that, although he’s having his lawyer contact the landlord’s lawyer, “If he wants that much and I cannot pay, what can I do?” He conceded, “I might be out of here soon.”
Mario Carbone (left) and Rich Torrisi.