BY LUIS GRONDA
A restaurant that has been an institution over the past several decades will say goodbye later this year.
Joe Abbracciamento’s Restaurant in Rego Park will serve its last Italian dish on Sunday, March 2nd.
The family-owned establishment has been open since 1953 and hosted many birthday parties and family dinners throughout its 61 years. It was first operated by Joe Abbracciamento then his kids, John, Joseph and John’s wife Marie, assumed control of the establishment after he passed away in 1999.
John Abbracciamento said he planned to retire from running the restaurant and do something else with his life. He said he is worn out from the daily grind of being in the restaurant business and he wants to take time off from that.
“It’s time to sit back and enjoy life a little bit,” John said.
He said retiring from the business has nothing to do with financials or any other outside factors.
John said it is uncertain what will happen at that property. While there have been rumors, he said nothing is set in stone right now. He was noncommittal when asked about the possibility of selling the space to build apartments.
John said it is an emotional feeling for him to be retiring the restaurant in March.
“The relationships that you develop throughout the years is what I’m going to miss the most,” he said. “Running the restaurant itself, that I don’t think I’m going to miss.”
There was a plan to throw a goodbye party on its last day, but instead it will go out as it always has: hosting parties for people in the neighborhood.
John said there has been an outpour of support from the community once some found out that he was retiring the restaurant.
“There are no words to explain it other than thank you so much,” he said.
Reach Luis Gronda at (718) 357-7400, Ext. 127, firstname.lastname@example.org, or @luisgronda.