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Tuesday
Feb122013

Is Fornino Park Slope Closed for Good?


Fornino opened on Fifth Avenue between Garfield and Carroll Streets with much fanfare in early 2010, and the triple-wide storefront, home to a bar area, main dining room, and take-out (later Polpette) sections made it one of the largest restaurants in the neighborhood, by far. It was incredibly popular when it opened, in the space that was originally home to former owner Michael Ayoub's first restaurant, Cucina, it for a time appeared to anchor the avenue's Restaurant Row, along with Al Di La.

A couple weeks ago, however, the restaurant unexpectedly closed up, and while signs in the front windows said that they'd be closed "for renovations [until February 4th] so we can gussie up the old doll," it hasn't reopened since, the tables are still set, and it appears as if no gussying up has actually taken place.


As with any business that closes "for renovations" but never actually does any, rumors are swirling. Supposedly the entire staff walked off the job last week, but I haven't been able to independently verify that.

There are a couple interesting details to report, though: One, the website is down (never a good sign), even though the phone line isn't, and two, a call to the Williamsburg Fornino, which isn't officially connected to this one any more, revealed that the hostess "heard that they're closed for good," but she couldn't elaborate further.

So what exactly is going on at Fornino? If anyone has heard any definitive facts, leave them in the comments section below. But with no confirmation one way or the other, I have a feeling this will be one of those "wait and see" situations. And while I don't want to come out and call this one closed for good without 100% proof, I have a very strong feeling that they've served their last grilled pizza.

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Reader Comments (37)

Out with Fornino and in with a new Southpaw!

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNicole

Seriously Bret? The meatballs at terroir cost $10 each! They should come with a handjob. Completely ridiculous.

February 12, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRealParkSloper

@ RealParkSloper -

Maybe Terroir and the PSRNT (Park Slope Rub-N-Tug) mafia can get together on that one...

Put up some bedsheets on the Terrior windows then we're in business...

Meatball sauce -n- body fluids....


"HEY!..... Stand BEHIND the velvet rope...... I'm not gonna tell ya again!!"
(Line to get into Terrior)

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

That's absurd RealParkSloper.

A single meatball is not $10 at Terroir, an entire order (enough for 2 people to share) is $10. I've had them quite a few times, I know what I'm talking about. They are 10 times better than Polpette, which I've also tried and wasn't impressed with.

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbret

I recall they had a wonderful Tibetan cabbage topping on one of the pizzas. I'll miss that.

February 13, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdave

I hear the "Russian Tea House" is trying to snag the place out of the market.
Russian Tea House in Park Slope? Odd choice... I wonder if they really believe they have that demographic. Bah.

March 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterGabriele

I'm thinking giant sports bar, along the lines of 200 5th. Between High Dive, Pork Slope and Beauty Bar, it's a pretty drinky block already, but no one has put up two dozen TVs yet.

It's going to turn into Brooklyn's answer to Amsterdam Ave north of 79th.

March 4, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterK-Tee

i will miss the arranchini.. with that delicious honey/truffle sauce... =*(

March 5, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterval

As a former server at Fornino I can assure you the staff did NOT walk out. We were given no notice of the closing of the restaurant. In fact we are owed two weeks of pay. The manager (Denise) was the worst manager/ person ever to step foot in ANY restaurant. It's been a blessing they closed!

March 6, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterserverFPS

They lied to all there staff....did not pay anyone and disappeared both chris walsh and micheal ayoub...

March 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterformer employee

We didt get paid for the las 2 weeks of work and they told us they were goin to open in 3 days and now they dont answer their phones ill leave it to the department of labor

March 11, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterex worker

We are totally bummed that Fornino has closed its doors. We have eaten there probably 50 times and have always been treated fabulously. The food was always consistent and we were planning on having two major events there this summer. There are lots of rumors as to why it closed but I guess we will never know the truth. We know it didn't help Fornino when they decided to entirely change their menu...that in our mind was a big mistake. They went back to the old menu but you never know, the damage could have already been done. We especially liked the special events they held...like cocktail night, wine tasting, whiskey tasting. It is a big loss for the neighborhood and unfortunately it is a big space for someone else to come in and fill. Look at Moutarde, another place that played with their menu and made a major mistake. You can make small changes to your menu, but you can't just wholesale change everything. These two places did make wholesale changes and now they are both gone....

April 3, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJAM

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