CARS HOMES JOBS

Petta says family’s landmark eatery not really for sale

Thursday, July 3, 2014
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— Business is getting so much better at Petta’s Restaurant that it’s not exactly for sale anymore, said co-owner Michael Petta.

He and his sisters put their restaurant up for sale two years ago. At the time, he said, many customers had decamped for the new downtown restaurants.

But they’re coming back now.

“We turned around. We’re doing better now,” Petta said. “We can go on vacation. We’re sustaining it and our 20 employees.”

They just reinvested in the restaurant, moving back into the living quarters.

“And if you’ve ever moved, you understand,” he said, explaining why he is no longer really interested in selling.

Still, the building is officially up for sale. He had intended to let the real estate sale listing expire, but his Realtor automatically relisted it when it expired recently.

The relisting got a lot of attention, which worried Petta because the restaurant is closed this week for vacation. He’s ordering a banner so that customers know Petta’s hasn’t been sold.

Although the increased attention could lead to interest from buyers, Petta doubted he would get an offer high enough to make it worth selling.

Still, he acknowledged that the family is considering a sale at some point. Their children are too young to take over — Petta’s daughter is only 10 — and the co-owners are all in their 60s.

It’s a balancing act to decide whether to work long enough to keep it in the family, or sell and retire but eliminate the next generation’s chance of continuing the family business. The Duane Avenue landmark opened in 1951.

“I’m 62 years old. I’d like to go south eventually,” Petta said. “Is it going to be anytime soon? No.”

He added that he’s no longer particularly thinking about the realty listing.

“It has been [listed] for two years. There’s no offers,” he said. “Business as usual.”

 
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