Barilla Pasta Opens Restaurant in Mega-Gay Midtown Manhattan
After inciting rage and boycotts across the globe for last fall’s anti-gay comments, Barilla, the world’s largest pasta producer, has now opened the doors to an Italian restaurant in mega-gay midtown Manhattan, home to Broadway and nearby gayborhood Hell’s Kitchen.
As reported by The Wall Street Journal, Academia Barilla restaurant opened on 52nd Street and Sixth Avenue about three months ago, to minimum fanfare. They are hoping to expand to locations in Bryant Park and Herald Square. But they recognize this won’t be a piece of cake (or is it pizza pie?)
"Restaurant CEO Stefano Albano said he knows that breaking into New York City’s Italian food market won’t be easy. In the past decade, the city’s Italian culinary scene has evolved beyond red-sauce classics on checkered tablecloths," writes the WSJ’s Prevaiz Shallwani.
Albano told the WSJ that "We are in the business to please people. I need to balance out the things that we know people want and the things we know we want to offer to people that make us who we are."
Professing to be in the business of pleasing people is particularly ironic in the face of last fall’s anti-gay tirade by Barilla Chairman Guido Barilla made during an interview on Italian radio, which alienated a wide swath of customers.
"I would not do a commercial with a homosexual family, not for lack of respect toward homosexuals -- who have the right to do whatever they want without disturbing others -- but because I don’t agree with them, and I think we want to talk to traditional families," he said. "For us, the ’sacral family’ remains one of the company’s core values. Our family is a traditional family. If gays like our pasta and our advertisings, they will eat our pasta; if they don’t like that, they will eat someone else’s pasta.