Chicago came to Mineola Tuesday and Wednesday, as director Martin Scorsese’s Netflix movie “The Irishman” added the village’s Biscuits & Barbeque restaurant to the many Long Island locations used for the upcoming movie, starring Robert De Niro, Al Pacino, Harvey Keitel, Ray Romano and an out-from-retirement Joe Pesci.
“They’re going to shoot tonight,” Joan Gallo, 55, owner of the Cajun and Southern eatery on East Second Street, told Newsday Wednesday. She had explained on social media the day before that, “In the movie we are supposed to be an old time diner in Chicago! But today we are open as usual despite our new look. We’ll be closed tomorrow while they shoot.”
The film crew spent Tuesday dressing the exterior of the mid-1940s railcar-style building built by Silk City Diners, one of three by the company extant on Long Island, along with the Phoenix Diner in Merrick and the heavily remodeled La Fondita in Amagansett. “They’re just shooting the exterior,” where the canopy has been replaced by one reading simply “Diner,” said Gallo. “They’re not going to do anything inside. It’s a scene with Robert De Niro, I’m told.”
The arrangement to shoot was straightforward, the Manhasset born-and-raised Gallo said. “They just inquired if we’d be interested in doing it, and I was thrilled to say yes.” Biscuits & Barbecue has been onscreen before, she added, on the FiOS1 series “Restaurant Hunter,” with another appearance scheduled for March 8.
Gallo gave up a career as a Hofstra-educated civil-law attorney to open her restaurant about six years ago, she said. Built circa 1947, the building had gone through multiple incarnations, most recently as Kiss the Chef through at least 2011. The space was empty when she bought it, she said.
“The Irishman” is based on Charles Brandt’s 2003 book, “I Heard You Paint Houses,” about mob hitman Frank “The Irishman” Sheeran (De Niro), who allegedly was involved in the disappearance of union boss Jimmy Hoffa in 1975. With an estimated budget of $140 million, according to trade reports, the movie, spanning a quarter-century in Sheeran’s life, is set to premiere on Netflix next year, possibly with an Oscar-qualifying theatrical run this December.
Long Island locations for the film have included the Seville Central Mix Corp. concrete plant in Lawrence, the Rodeway Inn in Huntington Station, a former Pathmark building in Baldwin, and Brookhaven Calabro Airport in Shirley. On Oct. 18, the production blew up a boat in Hempstead Harbor, at the Harry Tappen Marina in Glenwood Landing.