Joanne Barbati is the wife of late pizzeria owner Louis Barbati. Her husband, the owner of the iconic pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens was shot dead in the backyard of his home in Brooklyn.
According to reports, Joanne Barbati’s husband was shot twice in the back last night. Joanne Barbati and the couple’s two sons found the body of 61-year-old Louis Barbati slumped near the door house.
Though a cause for the shooting has not been officially released it is believed Louis Barbati may have had enemies. L&B Spumoni Gardens –the pizza place his grandfather began in 1939 –is a full service Pizzeria, Ice Cream Parlor, Hot Sandwich Counter, and Pasta House. Is a fourth generation family business according to it’s website.
Media points out that according to testimony in a 2012 extortion case, a mob war nearly erupted several years ago over the pizzeria’s “gravy” recipe –which the restaurant is famous for.
A former mobster Anthony Russo testified in court about an incident wherein members of his former crime family got into spat with the Bonanno clan over the alleged theft of a pizza recipe from L & B. As the story goes, reputed Colombo associate Francis Guerra — whose family helped run the pizzeria — learned that an alleged Bonanno family associate named Eugene Lombardo opened a Staten Island slice parlor with similar pizza called The Square. Lombardo’s sons previously worked at L & B, so Guerra concluded that they must’ve stolen secrets from the kitchen. During a sit-down, members of the Colombo family demanded that Lombardo give them a cut of the pizzeria or $75,000 to make up for the alleged recipe theft.
L&B Spumoni Gardens has been featured on the show Man v. Food and NY Eater critic Robert Sietsema considers L&B Spumoni Gardens a must-try Italian American restaurant in Brooklyn.
According to a witness in the quiet residential neighborhood, Joanne Barbati held her husband’s body while screaming for help, ‘I need help, someone shot my husband.’
Cops were searching for a white man in his 30s who wore a black hoodie and was seen fleeing, police said.
We send our conolences to Joanne Barbati, her sons and the rest of the family.