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Fashionable Little Italy Red Sauce Icon Forlini’s Building Is Up for Sale at $15M

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An owner says the restaurant will close whenever the property sells

The outside of a brick building with red, cursive letters that read “Forlini’s.”
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The end of a Little Italy era approaches as red-sauce icon and revived fashion-world club Forlini’s is selling the building where it’s housed. Owner Joe Forlini tells Eater that there’s no timeline, as no one has made any offers on the building that’s officially on the market for $15 million. But eventually, the restaurant will close when the property sells.

Twelve members of the Forlini family own the building, with two owning the restaurant, and Forlini says they want to sell because “everybody is in their 50s and 60s.” The family-owned Italian restaurant opened in 1943, serving a menu of old-school favorites, from chicken marsala to baked ziti alongside art-lined walls, white tablecloths, and live music.

The restaurant has long drawn a judge and jury crowd from the courthouse nearby, but lately, it’s also had a resurgence as a fashion-world hangout, ever since Vogue hosted a 2018 Met Ball pre-party at the restaurant. Now, its distinctive pink banquettes can be seen all over Instagram with influencers and models posing in front.

Forlini says nobody has made an offer on the property yet, so the sale could take at least six months to potentially years. Sales documents estimate the value of the restaurant and bar space at $32,000 a month in rent.