In more than 70 years since its opening in 1937, the P. Damiani & Sons, Inc. furniture store at 32-37 Steinway St. has become a familiar sight in Astoria. The store features 8,000 square feet of traditional furniture, from Queen Anne style and country print pieces to skirted sofas and wooden bedroom sets. "No bulky upholstery that's all the rage right now," Reynold Damiani, co-principal officer and vice-president of the corporation, declared.
Damiani and his brother, Peter, had owned and managed the store since they took over from their father in 1967. But now the brothers have sold their business to Best Quality Furniture, which will replace the store. "We got to a point where handling both the warehouse and store was too much," Damiani said. "After 41 years, you realize when it's time to go."
The history of the furniture store started when the Damiani brothers' father was involved in a business selling dry goods, floor coverings and larger items, such as appliances, in Chelsea. After the government took over the property to make room for new housing complexes, Damiani went back to his homeland, Italy, only to flee back to America during World War I. He eventually established a permanent home in Astoria on the second floor of his new furniture store, which sold mostly floor coverings and furniture at the time.
P. Damiani & Sons, Inc. Closes After 71 Years
The store officially closed Friday, August 1, but the warehouse is still open, with furniture priced up to 70 percent off. The warehouse, at 34-12 38th St., is open Tuesday through Saturday from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Although the Damiani brothers' children had not expressed any interest in retail or in continuing the family business, they have not officially dissolved the corporation. Meanwhile, Reynold Damiani is currently considering a part-time retail job in another furniture store. "It was a good run. I'm happy and sad at the same time," Damiani said as the final day for the business gets closer and closer.