DYKER HEIGHTS, Brooklyn -- The co-owner of iconic pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens, where a mob war over a stolen sauce recipe once nearly boiled over into bloodshed, was shot dead Thursday in the backyard of his Brooklyn home, police said. Louis Barbati, 61, was found shot to death with his body slumped near the door of his house at 12th Avenue and 76th Street around 7 p.m., cops said. His wife, another woman and his two sons were in the home at the time of the shooting, sources said.
The NYPD is looking for the gunman who they say might be in his 30s and was last seen wearing a black hoodie.
Borough President Eric Adams mourned the loss of Barbati – a longtime fixture within the Brooklyn community. He Adams scheduled a press conference at 11 a.m. Friday outside his pizzeria in Gravesend.
L&B Spumoni Gardens is well-known for its Sicilian pizza and ices. In 1939, Ludovico Barbati, Sr. started the iconic pizzeria after he moved to the United States from Italy. He purchased vacant property on 86th Street in Brooklyn, and began making his Spumoni in his new factory, then built an area outside where customers could eat while he continued to bake. In the mid 1950s, L&B Spumoni Gardens built the second of the now three buildings, which is now the pizzeria, selling famous thick Sicilian pies, as well as regular round pies.
In 2012, Colombo mobster Francis Guerra, related to the other co-owner through marriage, was facing charges of being involved with two gangland murders—and extorting money out of Staten Island pizza restaurant owner, who he thought stole a secret recipe from beloved Bensonhurst pizzeria L&B Spumoni Gardens. He was cleared in a 2012 trial.
SOURCES: NY Daily News, NY1