Lady Gaga’s dad, an NYC restaurant owner, wants fewer mandates and more faith from politicians: ‘It’s time’


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Joe Germanotta Runs Joan’s Trattoria on the Upper West Side for 11 Years and Counting

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For the past two years, Joe Germanotta’s career as a New York City restaurant owner amid the coronavirus pandemic has been all-encompassing.

“First and foremost, we’ve had to invest a significant amount of money,” said Germanotta, also known as the pop star’s father. Lady Gagatold Granthshala Business in an interview this week from its Upper West Side, Manhattan restaurant.


Joan Trattoria, 64, has been driving for 11 years. The family restaurant featured the same authentic Sicilian cuisine germanota grew up in: chicken scarparillo, bolognese sauce, meatballs, lemon artichoke chicken, and more.

Running his own food and beverage establishment was always his “dream” as a child, but Germanotta admits it has “been a rollercoaster” in the 11 years it has been a reality. However, it wasn’t until the coronavirus pandemic first escalated in early 2020 that it saw the most changes.

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“The last two years have been a struggle for everyone. It’s just starting to come back. Business is about 70% where it was three years ago and it’s probably 50% compared to two years ago,” he said.

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Germanotta said Joan Trattoria “was humming before the pandemic.” “Now, everyone in the industry had to raise prices,” he said.

As Germanotta’s business and thousands of others across the state have adjusted in recent months, Bill de Blasio’s vaccination mandate is testament to the one that went into effect on September 13.

Germanotta doesn’t exactly oppose the mandate, but he is wondering when the time will come for business owners to call their own shots again without government intervention.

“It’s time to let people make their own decisions,” Germanotta insisted. Business owners are responsible and they understand. “We had to put special filters in the air conditioner, so we’ll keep doing that. We had to have sanitizer everywhere, so we’ll just keep doing that. Business owners know what to do.”

From the end of 2020 to February 2021, Germanotta temporarily ceased trading. Now, he’s lucky to see it as “growing 10% week by week, which is good.”

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However it is not without hard work and constant change.

Since the pandemic hit, Germanotta has done what many other eateries in the area have done: create outdoor dining. There’s already a back patio with seating, a kebab in front of Joan’s Trattoria, though the owner isn’t a fan of the $15,000 extra.

“I think the city looks like hell,” he said of the many temporary outdoor seating arrangements in the streets of Manhattan. “They don’t clean the streets beneath them, so what’s living there? I think it’s really a slum in New York and it’s time to get rid of them.”

Another addition Germanotta invested in amid the COVID-19 boom was the installment of a new point of sale and reservation system.

“My waiters can now take orders directly at the table and they can check on the customer at the table. I invested in that because we were short of manpower.”

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His new app is starting to “gain some traction,” saying it has revived his online reservation system and lowered his cost for paying services like OpenTable.

Joan Trattoria is now offering entertainment every weekend, including artists like Brian Newman, a band member of her famous daughter, and a mix of pop and jazz soloists and groups.

Just last week, Germanotta also introduced Oktoberfest.

The famous father said, “Oktoberfest is unlimited beer for three hours by the tap and a German plate with bratwurst, sauerkraut, a great, big pretzel.”

“It’s not exactly healthy but it’s good,” he laughed.

When you first walk into an Italian eatery, the bar on the left sits approx. 10 customers. Gaga’s father said this is one area of ​​the restaurant that has definitely been a hit.

“Bar business is gone, now coming back. Patrons can sit at the bar but it wasn’t like that for long. It used to be elbow-to-elbow and they stayed here all night. ‘Not anymore I don’t think it happens anywhere else,’ he said.

Amidst countless changes, Germanotta shares some of the decisions it’s made in recent months to keep its 40-person workforce in mind. He recently gave everyone a 5% hike because “inflation is crazy and it’s going to hit them so I figured I’d go predetermined with that.”

He also abolished lunch on Mondays and Tuesdays to allow workers to take a break during slow smuggling hours. They have driven their staff back to where it was pre-pandemic, but are now more cautious about how their staff is delegated.

“You don’t want to overstaff because they’re tip-pooling. That’s something that’s different now. They were glad I didn’t bring in extra people who would dilute the pool,” he said.

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Although there have been moments when he thought politicians were on a “power trip” when it comes to policing restaurants amid the pandemic, Germanotta concluded he hoped businesses in New York and the rest of the country would continue to boom.

“It’s time to start living again and enjoying yourself and meeting your friends and having food. I can understand not hanging out with strangers at bars but it’s a place you can come over and it is comfortable, and you can meet your friends,” he said.

Also, Joan’s owner isn’t the only Germanotta seeing a growth in the business. Germanotta was set to travel to Las Vegas this week to capture her daughter Gaga’s “Jazz & Piano” abode.

“Oh yeah, I’m excited. I haven’t seen him in a while,” said Germanotta. “We’ve talked to her twice. She’s really enjoyed it. She missed [performing]”

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