Back in 2009, when childhood friend Michael Chernow and I opened The Meatball Shop on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the mix-and-match menu of meatballs, sauces and sides was an instant hit. We opened five more shops in quick succession—in Williamsburg, West Village, Chelsea (along with basement bar Underballs), Upper East Side, and most recently, Upper West Side. These days, each restaurant averages $3.5 million in gross sales per year.
Since we opened, we've gone through nearly 75,000 gallons of sauce! Locals and visitors have always asked about purchasing jars so we just expanded our brand by launching The Meatball Shop's Classic Tomato Sauce, sold in our shops and at Whole Foods.
Some argue that we created a new dining category when we made meatballs the star of the plate. Well, based on our research, no meatball-centric restaurants existed before the original shop debuted in 2010 and today, you can find nearly 100 worldwide.