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Oct 3, 2007 09:39 PM

Nino's No More

I passed the corner of Union/Henry Streets this evening, and noticed that both Nino's pizzeria on the corner and the connected sit down site next door are closed. Sign on the window says they are renovating to become Francesco's Eatery iirc. Royal's Downtown, next door on Union is also closed, but didn't look to be involved in the renovation.

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  1. That's terrible. Nino's has been my go to place for a weekly chicken parm. Just in there a few days ago and there was no indication that they were closing. Where else is there in the neighborhood to get a really good chicken parm sandwich. Not crazy about Sal's.

    2 Replies
    1. re: salmonskin

      Salmonskin: check out Vinny's on Smith by Sackett. Great red sauce Italian. Don't be fooled by the steam table. I live by Nino's, and always preferred Vinny's for quality; especially since they have the same things available - but no pizza at Vinny's. I think Vinny is either the brother or other close relation of Nino. Neighborhood lore includes a falling out between them . . .

      1. re: the red apron

        Thanks, I have actually been to Vinny's many times and always enjoyed spaghetti bolognese, but never tried their chicken parm. Will definitely try and see if it fills the void.

    2. if this is true, its awful. my dad's been going since the 70s if i remember.

      1. Royal's finally gave in to the reality that no one ate there about a month ago and has been dark ever since. A couple of previous iterations of that space were adjuncts to Nino's, but i don't think the two were related at all. My guess is that the estimable Nino's sale is a completely separate matter to the flop next door.

        3 Replies
        1. re: iranyc

          Royal's opened and I never heard another word about it. Nice space though. But off the beaten path. Though that doesn't seem to be a problem for Lucali's. I never heard of anyone eating there.

          1. re: Brigita

            I ate there once... it was very pricey and not good at all.

            1. re: max

              Actually, I had a pretty excellent meal at Royal's. Special occasion, as it was very expensive. Too expensive for all the way over near Henry. Also, the place was very off-putting. For the longest time they had no menus outside and you actually had to go inside to get any info at all. Lucalis is a place where you can eat for 15-20 each. Royal's was more like 40-50. I think they would have done better if they had had weekday specials or something and made friends with the neighborhood. Destination dining like Grocery only works over on Smith. Or if you have an unique set-up like the roof at Alma.

        2. Passed by this morning. Looks like they are reopening today. It will be called Francesco's. They ditched the "Eatery" thing very quickly. Looks about the same as Nino's. Not sure why the name change. Also not sure what they are doing with the dining area next to Nino's on Henry St. In an aside, I noticed what looked like a wood and/or brick pizza oven in space that used to be Fratelli's Ravoli on Court St. btw. Union and President. It is still not open yet. Will be keeping an eye on it.

          4 Replies
          1. re: boccalupo

            Just came from Francesco's, took out 2 slices...other then a new paint job and blinds on the windows not sure it is much different then Nino's. Same steam table items and many of the same guys behind the counter. Guess we will have to stay tuned.

            1. re: savoryhash

              There is something odd going on. I went to Vinny's the other night on Red Apron's suggestion, and saw one of the main behind the counter guys from Nino's working over there now. Chicken parm was very good at Vinny's btw.

              1. re: salmonskin

                Vinny of Vinny's used to work at Nino's along with 2 of his brothers; Vito and Sal. Vinny left about 10 years ago and opened up his own place on Smith Street. About 3 years ago Vinny's brother Vito left Nino's and joined Vinny. Now that Nino's has closed their brother Sal has also joined them. Try the Veal Piccatta at Vinny's, excellent.

            2. re: boccalupo

              I just noticed this morning that the old Fratelli space has a sign up -- Marco Polo Take Out (they are right next door).

            3. From what i've heard its now owned by the Mazzola's people and hopefully they'll run a pizzeria as well as they run a bakery. BTW, if you ever need any information on that part of the neighborhood go get a haircut at Lana's Barber Shop on that same block. its a classic.