“Cannoli King” Baby John DeLutro Plots Caffe Palermo Expansion

The Cannoli King of Little Italy has some big changes planned for the future.
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It’s time to break out the crown and scepter New York, because some real cannoli royalty is currently planning a brand new expansion.

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Caffe Palermo is one of New York’s oldest and best-respected Italian restaurants. Founded in 1973 by Chef “Baby” John DeLutro, Caffe Palermo has been serving Little Italy’s finest cuisine for decades. Today, DeLutro is recognized worldwide as the “Cannoli King”, and his signature cannoli are shipped across the world to hundreds of different places. The restaurant has been visited by numerous celebrities, including Danny DeVito, Clint Eastwood, Henry Winkler, Quincy Jones, ICE T, Ray Romano, and Katie Holmes. Now, after nearly five decades of successful operation on Mulberry Street, DeLutro and the team will be expanding their operation with a brand new location.

Formerly operating at 148 Mulberry Street, Caffe Palermo will be opening a brand new location around the corner at 191 Grand Street. The space previously housed Genuine Superette, a popular cocktail bar from Eben Freeman that operated from 2015-2019. Before that, the space also housed 191 Grand Restaurant, which operated from 2005 until 2015.

Like most Little Italy restaurants, the space will be relatively tight fit, though comparable to neighboring operations. The new Caffe Palermo will feature 1,000 square feet of space on the ground floor, with an additional 800 square feet of space for storage in the basement. In total, the restaurant will be able to seat about 33 guests inside, fitting an additional 12 guests at the bar in the back. DeLutro will also be applying for open sidewalk seating, which will bring the total capacity of the restaurant to 65 guests.

Right now, DeLutro and the team are meeting with the community board to acquire a new restaurant liquor license for the space. While the original Caffe Palermo closed daily at Midnight, for the new space DeLutro will be proposing operating hours of 11:00 AM 2:00 AM every day, seven days a week. Unfortunately, DeLutro could not be reached for further comment about his plans, but you can follow Caffe Palermo on Instagram for regular updates on their progress.

Jake Rogers

Jake Rogers is an author and playwright based out of Brooklyn, New York. A lively performer who is deeply passionate about history and literature, outside of his reporting he also produces short films and plays with his theatre troupe, the LSTC. He is currently producing a web series about a butterfly and moth who are roommates that will be released later in the year.
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