Lady Gaga gave her father the best advertising a restaurant owner can possibly receive — she mentioned his new Upper West Side restaurant to millions of people in a televised special on ABC with Katie Couric on Thursday.
“My dad, it was always his dream to open a restaurant,” she told Katie Couric. “My dad and I opened up a restaurant together and it’s called Joanne…Watching my dad put up the awning in front of 68th Street two blocks from where I grew up in a beautiful brownstone where they make Italian food, and to watch him open the restaurant of his dreams and have it called Joanne after his sister, that’s wealth. That’s the dream.”
And then she cried.
A million Gaga fans melted, and probably went online to look for reservations.
But the restaurant, on 68th Street just East of Columbus Avenue in the old Vince & Eddie’s spot, isn’t open yet. Joe Germanotta, Gaga’s father, was hoping to open up the week before Thanksgiving, but the renovations are taking longer than expected. He did put up the awning, but the inside is still a work-in-progress. He now hopes to open during the week before Christmas.
He told me today that he’s planning to make it a traditional Italian family spot, with a price-fixe menu. The chef will be Art Smith, who knows a thing or two about working with celebrities; he has worked with Oprah and also founded a “healthy fast food chain”.
Germanotta (pictured above) seems like a low-key guy, unlike the parents of other noted celebrities, and he’s been overseeing the renovations firsthand inside the dusty half-finished restaurant for weeks. While I was talking to him, a couple of tourists from Cyprus walked up and told him they had been looking for the restaurant and expected it to be open. They were disappointed because they’re leaving to go home tomorrow. He chatted with them about what hotel they were staying at, and about Cyprus.
The woman said “I see your daughter has your eyes.”
“Most people say she looks more like her mom,” he said.
Update: The restaurant is now slated for a January opening. Check out a picture of the interior.
For more recent Upper West Side openings and closings, click here.