It’s last call for bread sticks. Sherman’s Little Italy Ristorante will close its doors Tuesday after six years of slinging spaghetti and moving mozzarella. Proprietor Dana Tennyson said the shuttering is owed to an escalating dispute between her landlord and a nearby neighbor over a poorly located grease trap.

It’s last call for bread sticks. Sherman’s Little Italy Ristorante will close its doors Tuesday after six years of slinging spaghetti and moving mozzarella. Proprietor Dana Tennyson said the shuttering is owed to an escalating dispute between her landlord and a nearby neighbor over a poorly located grease trap.


"After weighing our options, we have decided to close the restaurant," said Tennyson. "We do not want to drag our family through a nasty court case and feel we have been given a sign we need to get out peacefully while we can."


The grease trap in question — a 1,000-gallon contraption located 10 feet underground — sits below a small rectangle of raised concrete directly behind the restaurant. The rub, as it turns out, is that particular piece of concrete is owned not by Little Italy’s landlord, but by a third party, a business located a few doors away.


"We tried to find an alternative grease trap, but the city said, ‘No.’ It really couldn’t be done because of the type of food we have," explained Tennyson. "And there really is no other place to put one, so we can’t just move it."


What it all means for Shermanites is a paucity of pasta downtown for the foreseeable future. Tennyson said she and her husband have looked at the possibility of relocating, but the list of possible buildings is severely limited by, well, the availability of a grease trap.


"We’ve thought about moving locations, but we haven’t even had time to think about it; we’re just trying to get through this, I mean, it’s affecting everything," said Tennyson. "I don’t want people to think that we’re closing because we can’t make it financially or something."


For Tennyson, the closing leaves her family’s future very much up in the air. The Tennysons relocated from the Metroplex to Pottsboro last year for the sole purpose of running the restaurant, and have three children currently wearing Cardinal red.


"We are deeply saddened by this mess and really can’t believe it’s happening," said Tennyson.