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Scotto Funeral Home And Sal’s Pizzeria: Is Carroll Gardens About To Lose Two Long-Time Businesses?


Pardon Me For Asking began as a celebration of Carroll Gardens more than ten years ago. In that decade, our little Brooklyn neighborhood has undergone tremendous changes. It has been painful to witness the closing of many small, locally-owned businesses to make way for the arrival of anonymous chains.
Some of the closings are due to ever increasing commercial rents.  Some, however, are due to the fact that neighborhood merchants, who also own their own commercial space, may be tempted to close their family business to become landlords to a high paying tenant.
When the high monthly rents potentially bring in more money than revenue from one’s own business, who can blame the local shop owners?

Whether this is the reason behind Scotto Funeral Home and Sal’s Pizzeria, two long time family-owned businesses here in Carroll Gardens, advertising their commercial spaces or not, their more-than-likely closure represents a nail in the coffin for the old neighborhood. (Sorry for the pun.)

Scotto Funeral Home

Scotto Funeral Home at 104 -106 1st Place was founded in 1926 by the Scotto family.

The business is situated in the middle of four brownstones owned by the family.
The imminent departure of the funeral home from this location has been rumored about for a while now. A listing for the huge space, which has been posted on the web site of real estate firm CPEX, would confirm what local residents had long suspected.
For generations of Italian-Americans in Carroll Gardens, Scotto’s has been an integral part of the community. It is sad to imagine that one day, in the near future, the space may be occupied by a Gap or a Starbucks.

Sal’s Pizzeria and Mama Mia

Sadly, another CPEX listing for 305 and 307 Court Street would indicate that Sal’s Pizzeria and Mama Maria are also ready to close. Both the businesses and the buildings are owned by John Esposito.  Sal’s was founded by John’s parents Sal and Maria, who opened the pizzeria in the 1970’s.

In 2012, the two businesses were featured on British chef Gordon Ramsay‘s television show Kitchen Nightmare, which may (or may not) have helped the eateries.

This, too, is a huge commercial space that may attract a chain rather than a locally-owned business.  After 40 plus years, it will be strange to see a new store occupy this corner of the neighborhood.
Change here in Carroll Gardens, as in the rest of New York City, seems inevitable.

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