The juggernaut, as the New York Times recently called then, The Torris Boys (Major Foods) is going corporate. “Watch Out Boys and Girls,” that means exclusiveness, cachet, and overall cool factor goes down. Major expansion, they going corporate, McDonaldesque if you will. Well not quite, but you know what I mean. The so called Torrisi Boys, Mario Carbone, Rich Torrisi, and partner Jeff Zalaznick who own and operate; Carbone, Parm (2 locations), Torrisi Italian Specialties, and ZZ plan on major expansion in the next couple of years with a large bakery/ restaurant downtown, that will partner with Melissa Weller and feature fresh baked; Bagels,Danish, Bear Claws, Challah Bread, yeast based and other baked goods. Jeff Zalaznick states, “It’s going to be our version of Barney Greengrass.”
The partners whose Parm Restaurant on Mulberry Street next to their first place Torrisi Italian Specialties has been super successful from day one and quickly spawned a sister Parm at Yankee Stadium. The Torrisi Boys (Major Foods) plan on opening several more outposts of PARM all over New York, in; Battery Park, 2 in Brooklyn of which one be near to The Barclay’s Center and another in Williamsburg, the Upper West Side and who knows where else? The New York Times says they plan on building Parm into a citywide Shake Shack style franchise. “Good Luck.” Corporate, make a ton of money, but majorly lose cachet and so-called cool-factor. You can’t have it all boys. They probably do.
Most well-heeled New Yorkers hate chains a corporate conglomerates when it comes to restaurants. Many giant nation-wide food chains who’ve made it big in a large part of the country thought they’d come in to New York and knock-em-dead. Not! Discerning New Yorkers tend to like small independent restaurants, not corporate like Applebee’s and Bennigans. When you see restaurants like Red Lobster and Olive Garden doing well around Times Square it’s tourists and the less well healed New Yorkers going to them, the rest of us hate chain restaurants.
So it will remain to see what happens with Parm, Carbone and the now much smaller Major Foods (Torrisi Boys) empire. With a good number more Parm Outlets open, will the original loss it cachet and hot-factor? Who knows? Probably. And what of Carbone, the flagship of the corporation which has from day one and to this point (March 20, 2014) been uber-hot and still New York’s Hottest Restaurant Ticket in Town? Time will tell, and …
Plans for Carbone – Torissi Boys Lobster Club that 3rd partner Jeff Zalaznick was hot on have been scrapped. The Carbone – torissi Team is opening a small clam-bar instead (12 seats) called ZZ Clam Bar a couple doors downstream from their highly sucessful “Carbone” Old-School Red-Sauce Italian Joint. This teams first venture was named after Rich Torissi, the 2nd “Carbone” after Mario Carbone, and now ZZ Clam Bar will be named after Jeff Zalaznick and his nickname “ZZ”