Early Sunday, a Brooklyn eatery with mob ties was sprayed with bullets – right in the façade. According to police, an employee arrived at the Carroll Gardens restaurant around 8 a.m. to find six bullet holes in the front window and door.
Marco Polo Ristorante, an Italian eatery on Court Street, has been a neighborhood staple for some 35 years. Both judges and lawyers have been known to stop in for a salad or some Bolognese. However, the restaurant is also notable for its extensive mob ties. In 2008, restaurant founder Joseph Chirico pled guilty to laundering money on behalf of the Gambino crime family.
No one was injured in the shooting, which is thought to have occurred around 5 a.m. However, the reasons behind the shooting remain mysterious. The restaurant’s co-owner, Marco Chiricio, said he believed the bullet holes were the result of a disagreement between local gangs.
Chirico told the NY Post: “You can see how the bullets ricocheted all over the place. You can tell it was not direct. All the shells were across the street, and there were more than five. It looked like a battle. Hopefully, they catch the people that were fighting.”
Marco Polo employees patched the broken glass with restaurant menus. But, as of Sunday, the cold air was still coming in through a massive hole in the front door.
Unlike Chirico, neighbors are less convinced that the shooter or shooters weren’t targeting the restaurant. One neighbor explained to the NY Post: “I’d find it very unlikely that whoever fired the shots wasn’t targeting this restaurant – unless the target happened to be standing right out front. Otherwise, why else would this be the only storefront on the block with bullet holes in it?”
The neighbor asked to remain anonymous, but said he’d be happy to return to the restaurant. “The food here is phenomenal,” he said.
Another neighbor expressed similar sentiments to the Post, saying: “The thing about Marco Polo and some of the other restaurants is, we know their history. You always think twice.”