By Julie Shapiro
SOUTH STREET SEAPORT — The venerable Carmine’s Italian Seafood, which closed last June after 107 years in the Seaport, will not be returning to the neighborhood after all.
Greg Molini, who hoped to carry on his family's tradition by reopening the famed restaurant near its original location, told DNAinfo Wednesday that the plans had fallen through.
"I am very disappointed," Molini said. "And I feel like I disappointed more people than just myself. That’s making me feel the worst."
Molini, 47, a Brooklyn resident, wanted to put the new Carmine's in the former Harbour Cafe space at 29 Peck Slip, but the financials didn’t work, he said. Molini announced last month on his Facebook page that the plan had been derailed, the blog EV Grieve reported.
Longtime downtown residents were thrilled to hear in December that Molini wanted to reopen Carmine’s, a vintage maritime-themed watering hole from the days when the Seaport was known for fresh fish, not a touristy mall.
"That really was one of the last original places in the Seaport," said John Fratta, chairman of Community Board 1’s Seaport/Civic Center Committee. "It’s a pity."
Molini’s family bought Carmine’s in 1977 and kept it open until last summer, when the landlord of the Beekman and Front street space jacked the rent up to $13,000 a month, Molini said.
Molini saved many pieces of the old restaurant, including the large wooden bar, but he now plans to auction them off to pay his lawyer and architect.
He does not expect to open another restaurant.
"Carmine’s was the whole point of it," Molini said. "It had the name, the reputation, the history — the point was to bring that back."