Armando’s is gone — again!
The long-time owner of beloved Armando’s restaurant in Brooklyn Heights closed its doors last week after 82 years in business — a big loss for the community, said the head of the local business-boosting group.
“Armando’s has been a pillar in the community for 82 years, and will be dearly missed,” said Kate Chura, the executive director of the Montague Street Business Improvement District.
Owner Peter Byros sold his landmarked Montague Street building — which once boasted its famous neon lobster sign out front — to a real-estate agent in February, according to city records.
Byros said he tried to work out a deal to continue leasing his old-school Italian kitchen, between Clinton and Henry streets, from the new operator so he could continue churning out his delicious red-sauce dishes that had locals, politicians, and even once-famous stars keep coming back for more, but it was too expensive and few tables were booked every night like they once were.
“Business is not what it used to be, used to be flourishing,” said Byros, who lives in Queens.
Byros, who ran the joint since 1981, isn’t sure what the new owners have planned for the landmarked building, but wouldn’t be surprised if they transformed it into a fast-food chain.
“Because that’s the one that pays the high rents,” he said.
Byros loved nothing more than serving the community for more than three decades, he said.
“I thank all my people for their support they’ve given me all these years, I’m very disappointed that I had to close down, but there was no other choice,” said Byros.
But not everyone is sad to see the staple Italian eatery shutter — one man, whose number is just one digit off from its owner’s but listed in city records for the restaurant, has gotten calls meant for him for the last decade and is hoping now that will finally end.
“It’s been happening to me for eight years. At first I tried to be helpful but after eight years it got to be very frustrating — I got more and more agitated as the years went by,” said the man from Connecticut who declined to give his name. “I don’t know how much business he lost, I tell people to blow off. I hope this is the last.”