Gay Talese takes to the pages of The New Yorker this week to pen a fond farewell to Gino, the storied 65-year-old Italian restaurant that’s closing on May 29. Among the more interesting facts he relays: There are 314 zebras prancing across Gino’s famous red wallpaper; the items on the single-page menu were handwritten in ink by founder Gino Circiello; and the restaurant’s artificial flowers are washed in the kitchen three times a year by Gino’s chef and co-owner, Michele Miele.
Also, there’s this:
Once it’s vacated in mid-June, the Gino space will be taken over by Charles and Candace Nelson, better known throughout Southern California as the proprietors of Sprinkles Cupcakes. Called “the progenitor of the haute cupcake craze,” Sprinkles is famous both for the trademark “modern dot” that tops each of its creations and the numerous lawsuits the Nelsons have filed to protect it. They have demonstrated enough litigious zeal to make the Magnolia-Buttercup turf war look like a friendly game of capture the flag, and have expansion plans that would make Michael Huynh blush. And most disappointingly of all, they almost undoubtedly have no plans to keep the zebra wallpaper.