Last night, an email with the subject line "Roll-n-Roaster closing" made me literally scream, "NO!" at the top of my voice. "According to all of Facebook the not so fast fast food restaurant you did a story on last month is closing this October to make way for more fucking condos," the tipster declared. "Roll-n-roaster has allegedly been bought out just like el greco diner on the same block to make way for condos." A search of the restaurant's Facebook page provided this thread, where customers debated the veracity of claims that the restaurant was on its way out.
At the risk of shattering your faith in "all of Facebook," it appears customers' fears are unwarranted. We've received word that the pride and joy of Sheepshead Bay isn't going anywhere. Joan Lamonica, wife of Roll-N-Roaster founder Buddy Lamonica, told us via email this morning that there's absolutely no truth to rumors of the restaurant's demise. "It is definitely not true that RNR is closing," she told us. "Developers in the area started that rumor before when trying to sell condos across the street." Shady development tactics? Shocking.
Like the nearby El Greco diner, which closed last year to make way for a new "residential tower," RNR occupies prime real estate near the tranquil Sheepshead Bay, making it the ideal setting for obscenely priced condos. Lamonica couldn't be certain exactly how the rumor was perpetuated, but she's convinced developers believe "buyers might not want to be looking at RNR as their view." Luckily, the family owns the property, so if they go, it'll be on their own terms.
It's a relief that Roll-N-Roaster, which just celebrated its 45th anniversary last month, will be around to serve more roast beef sandwiches. But the damage from the rumor could still be felt with the staff and the restaurant's loyal customers. "[The rumors are] very aggravating, especially for the crew," Lamonica revealed. "A customer came in crying yesterday." I cried a little too, Joan.