Cirivello's Shutters at Parkview Village
From Issue: Volume XXI - Number 12
By Steve Propes
Long time anchor tenant Cirivello’s Sports Stop has closed because of an inability to come to lease terms with the management of Parkview Village. Both parties agree the site will continue with a similar tenant, but it’s not clear when it will reopen. “We were told to be out by 10 a.m. on Friday, May 31,” said Cirivello’s co-proprietor Danny Harris, 40. “After 32 years and 47 employees we’re on the street. It happened so fast.”
Harris took over the lease and bought the business from previous owner Angelo Picarelli, whose family owned the business since 1974. Angelo and his brother Joe Picarelli relocated Cirivello’s to Parkview Village in September 1982.
Harris and his then-two partners bought out Angelo Picarelli, made good on some back rent and took over the $18,300 per month lease in January 2012.
“Last Sunday, during Labor Day weekend, Parkview Village management called us that they decided to go in another direction,” said Harris. “When we signed in January 2012 with a year and a half on the lease, we were told we could re-sign at lower rent. We were about to sign our new lease, but the landlord said they wanted an additional name on the team. He was looking for more strength to cover his butt. I had told them ‘let’s make it the same for another year.’ I’ve been over there in tears to let us keep it there.”
Not so, said Parkview Village’s Leasing Manager Jim Ault. “They were told within probably two weeks of the expiration of their lease, since they had not come up with agreeable terms, the landlord had no choice but to secure a replacement tenant. They felt they were in position to hold out until they got what they wanted, the landlord needed it more than they did. They had been offered a reduction in rent to sign the lease. They couldn’t put it together. We told them, ‘the landlord will start working on securing a new tenant.’
“Months before the lease expired, we were trying to negotiate new terms, but it couldn’t happen,” said Ault. “They felt they were in the driver’s seat, holding out for something way better than what was offered, letting it go down to the last two weeks of the lease.
There were offers from other sources; the landlord took the strongest offer. The group that was offering had the financial backing and experience to operate that kind of business. They will be doing some improvements and the location will be closed to do them.”
Though Ault would not reveal the name of the new tenant, stating, “the lease has yet to be signed, he did indicate, “It’ll start June 1 and will be a very similar type of establishment.” Harris stated the new lessee is a principal of the Acapulco Inn, a self-described “dive bar” in Belmont Shore in partnership with Brian Travis, who was “our arcade guy for the kids.” Harris added that he is keeping the ABC license, which means there will be at minimum, a 60-day period required to acquire another license.
However, as the Acapulco is a beer bar only, it’s not clear whether alcohol will be served at the new location.
“Now I’m in default with Angelo,” said Harris, who said that in addition to taking over the lease, he had to buy out Picarelli. “He’s scared how we’re going to pay him. All the tenants are in an uproar.”
Only a few of Cirivello’s laid-off staff will be placed in the near future. About a half dozen have been hired by Glory Days on Woodruff Avenue near Carson in Lakewood, but with an estimated two months before re-opening, it’s not clear if there will be rehiring at the re-opened Cirivello’s.
Cirivello’s patron Donna Rohrich of Lakewood Village has heard the owner of the Acapulco Inn in Belmont Shore will be coming in. “I think it’s a sad situation; so many kids in baseball, volleyball frequent the place a lot to accept their awards, pizza parties after their tournaments, hang out in the game room. They had some fights going on, the police were in the lot checking people out. On their last night, they had blues musician White Boy James play over there.”
“We asked could we stay open for grad parties we had booked and an event for kids in wheelchairs, but we were told we had to cancel; we had to close on May 31,” said Harris. “Now I have to call parties who have booked eight months out.”
A second Parkview Village tenant, Presto Magic is also closing, though according to owner, Fred Broder, 81, who has been in his current location for three years, the reasons are more related to his wife’s health and his own advanced age.