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

Posted on: November 9th, 2016 at 5:00 am by
This image has been archived or removed.

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.

This image has been archived or removed.

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.

This image has been archived or removed.

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.

Recent Stories

Report: Boba Guys Faces Allegations of Sexual Harassment and Racism

Boba Guys, the San Francisco-based tea chain with locations in Los Angeles, New York, and across the Bay Area, is the focus of fresh allegations of racial discrimination and sexual harassment, just weeks after it fired a manager for racist comments allegedly posted to social media in 2018. This runs counter to the public advocacy […]

Ludlow & Hester Nail Spa Fades from its Namesake Block

Just as phase 3 of the city’s reopening gets going this week, one Lower East Side salon won’t be returning. Ludlow & Hester Nail Salon, located at 29 Ludlow Street, closed in March in observance of state guidelines for the coronavirus lockdown. Spa chairs inside the six-year-old spa lingered in the interim, awaiting clientele. Until […]

Watch as Bandits with Crowbars Steal ATM on Ludlow Street [VIDEO]

Bandits are certainly emboldened by the apparent sense of lawlessness around the Lower East Side these days. And Hell Square is no exception. Police say that on May 21, two African American males stole the ATM stationed outside El Sombrero at Ludlow and Stanton Streets. A witness reported seeing the crooks haul the entire machine […]

Mulberry Street Closes, Gets More Outdoor Dining Space

Mulberry Street in Little Italy is now one of several stretches of city roadbed that is closed to car traffic in an effort to support outdoor dining for local restaurants. This comes in light of the extended pause on indoor dining, previously slated to open at half capacity this past Monday. This past Saturday morning, barricades […]

Martin Scorsese Co-Directing Documentary on New York Dolls Singer David Johansen

The life of David Johansen – flamboyant lead singer of the New York Dolls and Buster Poindexter – is now the subject of a new documentary. And it’s co-directed by Martin Scorsese. The treatment will chronicle the singer’s nearly 50-year career, which began as a teenager in the downtown New York City scene of the […]