It appears the Sheepshead Bay rumor mill has birthed another tall tale about a neighborhood institution closing to make room for condos.
The manager at il Fornetto, the seaside Italian restaurant located at 2902 Emmons Avenue, said calls have been trickling in for the last two months from people asking if the business is going to shut down.
“I get a few calls a week,” said manager Sam Soho. “The customers want to know what’s going on. But it’s definitely not true.”
We checked public records and there have been no plans filed for a development at that property. The building has also not been sold.
il Fornetto is located across the street from Roll-N-Roaster, which had a similar episode occur last summer when calls flooded into the restaurant asking if it was selling out to make room for condos. In that case, we were able to track the source of the rumor to a widely-circulated Facebook post.
Soho couldn’t recall customers asking specifically about condos, but he figured that would be the most likely explanation for the business to get booted from their location.
“I just assumed because there is so much development going on around here,” he said.
Locals are rightfully fearful about long-lived eateries being cleared out for residential developments. The El Greco diner was demolished last year to make way for an eight-story condo building — scheduled to be completed in 2017.
This also isn’t the first time gossipers caused a panic by predicting Roll-N-Roaster’s demise. However, the rumors have spawned their own conspiracy theory. Specifically, some of our commenters speculated Roll-N-Roaster had circulated the lie in order to drum up business.
So what’s the deal? Are the owners of Roll-N-Roaser and il Fornetto manufacturing hoaxes in the hopes of bringing in more customers? Is there a big real estate deal brewing on Emmons Avenue that hasn’t been made public? Or is this just the work of a few smug pranksters with nothing better to do?
We’d like to know!