Why L’asso Pizza on Mott Street Won’t be Reopening

Posted on: November 9th, 2016 at 5:00 am by
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There is no hope for L’asso Pizza.

After our last article about its sudden demise, the comments section overheated with accusations that the closure was only temporary to correct an alleged “gas leak” at 192 Mott Street. And that the blacked-out signage was graffiti related. Needless to say, the shop remains gated and dormant. It’s not coming back.

Two former employees are speaking out about the behind-the-scenes of what really went down at the eleven-year-old pizzeria. It was in mid-July when the first cracks started to appear at 192 Mott Street. The closure at the end of the month (July 25), and subsequent “renovation period,” was apparently the result of a failed Department of Health inspection. At the time, city inspectors levied 47 violation points for mouse infestation, among other things.

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The restaurant did return for a brief, post-DOH period, yet didn’t survive the summer.

The alleged gas leak did happen, and is confirmed by DOB records, but there might be more than meets the eye. Employees allege the shutoff was more a function of the business owing Con Edison upwards of $8,000 in outstanding charges. And could explain why the utility was not restored. Disconnect notices were issued.

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Furthermore, the last manager, Dexter Love, emailed the remaining staff not too long ago with the following message – “Sorry to inform everyone, but [owner] Rob [Benevenga] has decided to close L’asso … as for now it’s closed indefinitely.”

Apparently, the final days weren’t too pretty.

“After reopening for the last two months the owner fully fled of his business responsibilities leaving the two managers to accept cash only and pay all vendors, employees out of the cash in house,” our source, who asked to remain anonymous, tells us. “Each day’s mail would bring certified letters from the NYS Department of Labor and various other violations that just got thrown to the side.”

Regarding the latter, we are also told that several former employees recently filed unpaid wage claims, which is what reportedly went down at the East Village location when it closed a few years ago.

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