'Mama' Sbarro dies

Carmela Sbarro, the woman behind the famous Italian restaurant chain, dies at 90.

She once was a driving force behind Sbarro, one of the most popular spots in Bensonhurst to buy smoked mozzarella and all sorts of meats.

But Carmela Sbarro is best known around here for being 'Mama Sbarro,' the name that adorns pizza and Italian restaurants throughout Nassau and western Suffolk counties, including one in the in Hicksville.

Sbarro died on Saturday. She was 90.

Sbarro is now a Melville-based chain, but some of the more colorful stories about her date back to Brooklyn.

For example, when one customer asked for a specific condiment, she wasn't amused. According to the New York Times, Mrs. Sbarro would respond, "I don't do that. You want mayonnaise on your sandwich, go somewhere else.”

Carmela outlived her husband Gennaro, who died in 1984.

Bill C July 17, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Mama was a wonderful lady and in addition to being the only one who ever told me that I had, "girlie fingers" (because I didn't reach into a stockpot of boiling pasta with my fingers to check it), she was a class act and her three boys, too. The rest of the familia -- well . . .


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