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Sbarro get's ready for bankruptcy reorganization.............

CNBC just reported this so I googled it and found this article. To be perfectly honest I have no idea how this chain has made it as long as it had. I remember as a kid in the 80's the novelty of an "Italian" food place in the food court was cool, get a plate of baked ziti etc. Well I'm not 10 years old anymore and that novelty wore off around the same time as the end of the cold war.

How do companies like this survive? When is the last time any of you had a Sbarro slice of pizza? For me it's been about 10 years since Aruba re-did their airport Sbarro was the only food in the airport prior to their renovation.


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  1. Could be one less option at the Fort Lauderdale airport, and there aren't many now.

    2 Replies
    1. re: Veggo

      You know as well as I do that in a location like that something else will move right into it's spot. In my opinion whatever it is that moves in has to be an improvement.

      1. re: jrvedivici

        I expect little pleasure from airport food. A pleasant exception is Denver, so this is my DIA food shout-out.

    2. I have such good memories of eating there as a teen at the mall!

      1 Reply
      1. re: UTgal

        I liked it when I worked at a mall, but mall traffic is down these days. Double whammy: fewer customers and more sophisticated (to some extent) expectations

      2. I've always wondered how Sbarro survived as long as it did. The pizza was vile, the pasta dishes mush...I know not to expect a lot from food court food but even as a college student they were always a last resort of extreme desperation for me, and I'd try to stick with a salad and bread.

        1. When Sbarro declared bankruptcy, an article in Slate called it "America's Least Essential Restaurant". LOL. May that be their epitaph.

          (I couldn't read the article linked by JR because it seems to be behind a paywall.)

          5 Replies
          1. re: drongo

            Wow I'm sorry! I just googled it and this article came up so I copy paste the link. I was able to view it then but now when I click the link it does want a subscription. Sorry!

            1. re: jrvedivici

              Actually if I go to https://news.google.com/ and search for Sbarro, I can access the WSJ article!

              I hadn't realized Sbarro had emerged from the earlier bankruptcy and was planning to file again.

              Sneering aside, I can understand the "Least Essential" label. Other low-end fast-food restaurants, even McDonalds, have their own distinctive menu items. But Sbarro has only the most basic Italian-American menu items, and so bland, soggy and unappetizing that they make even other Italian-American chain restaurants seem good!

              1. re: drongo

                The funny thing about the people running Sbarro -- none of them seem to be Italian.

                1. re: Tripeler

                  The family that founded it were from Naples.

                  1. re: John E.

                    Any original family members left in the company?
                    We have a Sbarro here in Tokyo, and after a visit I got nostalgic for my old middle school cafeteria.

          2. I have a soft spot in my heart for Sbarro because I used to eat there all the time when I was young, broke and working at the World Trade Center.

            1. I've probably had a slice of their pizza in the last 2 years. I don't remember it being horrible, and I actually used to really enjoy it as a kid/teenager. It was always my first choice in the food court because it was recognizable and always stayed the same. The one mall I most frequented as a kid tended to have a lot random non-chain places in the food court that would last a couple months and quickly be replaced with something else. Those places always scared me as a youngster.

              Anyways, there's a stand alone one in the mall by my work. This mall doesn't have a food court, rather it has a few fast food places inside the mall, but they're all set up on the inside like stand alone restaurants with their own seating. It's located across from the Chikfila there, and yeah it never looks too busy to me.

              1. Sbarro has a presence in a lot of college food service operations. They're at my school in a couple of the non-dining hall options. At some point, pizza is pizza in college. And the quick pasta options (even if somewhat mushy) are a good change of pace from the normal sandwich/pizza/grill options available.

                1. I remember having a slice at Sbarro's ocassionally for lunch when I worked in downtown Minneapolis. I suppose I ate their pizza in the mall food courts, bht I don't recall any specifics. Now it's been years since I've been in a mall and even longer since I ate at a food court.

                  I think the big reason for their troubles is the huge drop in mall traffic nation-wide. Maybe young people are eating at Chipotle instead.

                  2 Replies
                  1. re: John E.

                    The mall is is exactly it: young people don't go to malls anymore. Not those malls anyhow, with the food courts of which Sbarro is such a staple.

                    1. re: ccbweb

                      Young people do go to malls, I guess it depends on how you define "young." My local mall is full of middle and high schoolers. Not too many college age students or a bit older than that. The food court does a brisk business. I'm not in a small town but there aren't too many options, either for shopping or quick service that would appeal to the young 'uns.

                  2. I have a soft spot for Sbarro's, starting with their location on 34th St b/w 5th and 6th Ave in NYC. I went to college on the Upper East Side and used to walk down there sometimes to shop at all the now-defunct department stores nearby. At that time, 40+ years ago, it was still pretty good. When the mall near where I live now (Bay Area) remodeled circa 1994, Sbarros replaced the truly horrible pizza place there, a local operation. Sbarro was a HUGE improvement over them. Sbarro closed that location a few years later so I have no way to compare their current operation to the old one. Too bad they went south, from these reports.

                    1. I am genuinely sorry to hear it and hope they don't close too many locations. I have no problem with Sbarro pizza, at all.
                      As long as I stuck to their basic thin-crust slice without too many toppings on it I always got a decent meal there.

                      1. I confess to liking Sbarro's pizza. I thought it was a typical "New York" style pizza and one of my preferred choices at a food court or at an airport. It appears from the replies below that opinions about their pizza are mixed.