Popular NYC Italian restaurant Forlini’s is closing after 79 years


After nearly eight decades of serving old-country classics, this Italian-American landmark has sold its last veal scallops.

Forlini’s has officially closed, the 79-year-old restaurant south of Little Italy announced on social media Friday morning. “We would like to thank all of our sponsors for their support over the years. We do not see you as our customers, but as friends and part of our family.”

Baxter Street, with its big booths, white tablecloths, and extreme carpeting for family-style pasta dishes, was a crowd favorite and one of Manhattan’s last remaining red sauce joints. Its location near the courts made it a focal point for many judges, attorneys, prosecutors, and defendants alike.

But in recent years, the restaurant’s bar area has become a favorite haunt of the downtown fashion scene. In 2018, Vogue hosted Pre Met Gala Party, attended by Hailey Baldwin and Ashley Graham, at the restaurant.

“Forlini’s really was a very important place for Italian-American families. This is where we generally celebrated the most important events of our lives – first confirmations, graduations. I always remember that it’s a place to party,” Little Italy native Hot Bench judge Michael Corriero told the Post in 2017 of his favorite restaurant. “I lived literally across the street from The Tombs and a block from Forlini’s. When I was a young assistant prosecutor and eventually a judge, it was the unofficial commissioner for the courthouse.”

The family run restaurant was founded by “Grandpa Joe” in 1943, then continued by his sons Frank, Freddie and Hugo before being run by the current 3rd generation: “Big” Joe, Derek and “Little” Joe.

“My cousin and I are in our sixties now,” one of the Joes said eater about her reason for selling the family business and the building, which was reportedly owned by 12 family members. Joe didn’t want to elaborate on who the new owners are, but they had not only bought the restaurant’s home, but also its furnishings – chairs, tables, appliances and everything. However, Joe and Derek keep the Forlini name.

Public records don’t yet show how much 91-93 Baxter St. sold for, but in 2020 Eater reported that the building was on the market for $15 million.

“Forlinis has been sold. We’re closed now,” he announced a sign taped to the door of the restaurant on Thursday.

“We would like to thank everyone for the wonderful memories over the years,” the restaurant concluded its farewell post. “God bless and bless you all.” Popular NYC Italian restaurant Forlini’s is closing after 79 years


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