The Sbarro family opened their first of many Salumerias (Italian grocery stores) in Brooklyn in 1956. Nine years later the Sbarros opened their first mall-based restaurant at Brooklyn’s Kings Plaza and the rest is la historia!
“From the old deli in Brooklyn to a $600 million operation,” Dominic Sbarro gesticulates with pride. “Lets put it like this: we never had a problem from people not liking the food or something like that.”
Nunzio, who is Dominic’s senior by four years, chimes in: “If anything we may have had a problem with some people – they like the food too much!”
“Hey Nunzio! What a you talking? We never have no problem with people like the food too much!”
Nunzio sighs and faces us, “My brother Dominic, he’s young and proud. It’s hard for him to remember when things were different. The hard times we faced in the 80s and the struggles Papa Sbarro faced at that time. My brother either doesn’t remember or he doesn’t want to remember.”
It was in 1985 that Sbarro permitted the producers of the movie Krush Groove to shoot at one of their fine family restaurants. Nunzio gets choked up as he recounts the tale,
“little did Papa know of these three balenas they were going to be sending in!”
The infamous Fat Boys scene at Sbarro’s took three days to shoot
and nearly caused financial ruin for the fast food chain.
“Papa was thinking he’d get a little publicity to help with sales.
Then they bring in these Fat Boys.
These Fat Boys, they ate everything! Everything!!”
Even after Krush Groove was released the rotund rap group were prone to terrorizing local Sbarro’s for the tremendous deal at the all-you-can-eat buffets. Nunzio tells us that as a child every time he heard the trio enter a Sbarro’s singing their famous hook “The Fat Boys Are Back!” he would run sobbing to his nonna because he knew the chaos that was about to ensue.
With Sbarro’s on the edge of ruin, the Fat Boys finally broke up and started dining separately. Still the individual Fat Boys could be a problem for some local franchise owners.
A restaurant manager who asked to remain nameless commented “Rest in Peace to Buffy and all that s**t but honestly, it was either him or us.”
(source: Rafi Kam, Ohword)
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