The mystery of the shuttered Italian restaurant with a wonderful vintage store sign

Cicciaro’s Italian Restaurante (their spelling, not mine) looks like it’s been closed for ages, the steel grates over the small storefront locked shut and layered with graffiti.

I couldn’t find any clues about this literal hole in the wall at 47 Market Street, which still occupies the ground floor of a tenement built in 1886, and is next door to a former boarding stable for horses that operated in the 1890s.

But thanks to Ephemeral readers, I now know that this authentic-looking Italian spot and its spot-on 1970s-ish sign is actually a fake—it’s a creation for a TV crime drama film set.

City on Fire should be on Apple TV at some point in the near future. The production crew did a nice job, the old-school sign fooled me!

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15 Responses to “The mystery of the shuttered Italian restaurant with a wonderful vintage store sign”

  1. schwenko Says:

    not from a film/television set?

  2. Diane Says:

    A movie was being filmed there not long ago. Perhaps they put up the sign and just left it there.

  3. Felinity Says:

    I too did an online search and was amazed to come up with nothing; as a rule, there’s usually a few “cyber remnants” of now-defunct eateries and the like.

    But for the record, Cicciaro’s has a twin in Italy…it TOO is closed! https://restaurantguru.com/Al-Cicciaro-Pedaso

  4. A shuttered Italian restaurant with a wonderful vintage store sign – Intellicooking Says:

    […] A shuttered Italian restaurant with a wonderful vintage store sign […]

  5. beth Says:

    great signage

  6. nhu876 Says:

    Another mystery restaurant. The building at 47 Market Street was purchased by it’s current owner on 3/14/2000.

  7. Joseph Ditta Says:

    It was apparently installed for a film shoot. Compare Google’s street views from July 2021 (sign not there) and July 2022 (sign present with film crew).

  8. Peter Says:

    I looked at it on Google Street View and may have found the answer. There some sort of movie/TV filming on the site, which leads me to believe the signage was something placed there as part of the movie/show. It’s a very recent GSV, from just a month or two ago, so no one’s yet gotten around to removing the sign.

  9. John Says:

    A look on Google maps show this sign in place in July 2022, but not there in their July 2021 Google maps scan of this address, or before back to 2009. What does that mean?
    Maybe this old sign was kept in storage down below. When the printing shop shut, owners had the old sign rehung to cover the bare, ramshackle mounting surface.

  10. mondoeros1 Says:

    https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_on_Fire_(TV_series)

    City on Fire (TV series)

  11. velovixen Says:

    The spelling is entirely possible in Italian. When I was growing up in Brooklyn, I saw signs like them. Now that most of them are gone, I miss them!

    • Stephen Boatti Says:

      The spelling was common among Italian-American restaurants in the 1950s when Americans were not trusted to know what “ristorante” meant. But it is not a valid Italian word.

  12. Joseph Ditta Says:

    It’s apparently for this TV series: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/City_on_Fire_(TV_series)

  13. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    Thanks everyone for solving the mystery—a film shoot, of course! I didn’t think of that. I’ll update the post to reflect the new info.

  14. canuckdoorsystems Says:

    Nice post

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