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Mama’s Food Shop Owner Calls Revival ‘Bittersweet’

mama'sMelvin Felix

So what does the former owner of Mama’s Food Shop think about a new Mama coming to 200 East Third Street? Jeremiah Clancy, who bought the neighborhood institution in 2007 and closed it in July, said learning that the building’s landlord planned to take over the space was “bittersweet.”

Mr. Clancy does not own the Mama’s trademark, but wanted to distance himself from the new restaurant that his former landlord, Richard Freedman, plans to open with the possible name of Mama’s Eats and a similar menu of southern comfort food.

“This is a completely new business with a different owner,” said Mr. Clancy. “Even though he is serving similar foods, by no stretch of the imagination does that have anything to do with the Mama’s ethos, the Mama’s vibes and what was created over the past 15 years. This is something completely different.”

News that Mr. Freedman planned to give the space a significant upgrade including new bathrooms and an improved kitchen didn’t sit well with Mr. Clancy, who cited the burden of maintenance costs as a reason for the restaurant’s closing. “He’s making repairs on the space that I hemorrhaged the majority of my money on,” he said, later adding, “I loved that he sort of played a victim. He feels that property taxes are so high, but he still has the means to gut renovate a restaurant.”

Mr. Freedman, who also owns Mama’s Bar adjacent the restaurant space, said the new eatery would open in the next few months.