Saturday, September 5, 2009

Caffe on the Green still sitting idle

From the Daily News:

Plans to renovate the former Caffe on the Green restaurant in Bayside have hit a snag, forcing the new operators to delay the opening until the winter.

The popular eatery shut down in January when the city Parks Department forced out the former operators amid reports of mob ties and sloppy finances.

At the time, the new concessionaire - the Friendship Restaurant Group - had planned to reopen by May.

But the building, once home to silent-screen legend Rudolph Valentino, has been vacant for the past eight months.

Most signs and other reminders of the old name have been removed. The new operators plan to call the restaurant "Valentino's on the Green."

Parks officials said the new operator is waiting for approvals from the Buildings Department and other city agencies for its renovation plans.

"The concessionaire now plans to be open this winter," Parks officials said Wednesday in a statement. "They discovered the need for more extensive capital improvements than were originally expected, primarily structural issues relating to the floors. The increased improvements coupled with getting all the appropriate public approvals has caused the delay."

Local leaders wanted the city to let former operator Merissa Restaurant Corp. stay until its contract expired in 2010. They said they were frustrated by the delays.


Anonymous said...

Great loss of tax revenue and rent for the City. Who came up with the idea that would leave it empty this long. Another example of how City, state, and Federal gov't should not be involved in running businesses and making business decisions. Does anyone know the $ loss to the city?

Anonymous said...

I'm impressed with the parks dept.

I didn't know they had the power to buck the mafia!

But that place had the best calamari in NYC!

Anonymous said...

my family, from other sections of the tri-state area,
dined at Cafe On The Green on most holidays. It was
a location equidistant for us.

The cuisine was excellent.Service was professional and
very courteous. The garden and view was all class. I
believe the fight between two women,one with Queens
political clout,initiated the fine restaurants demise.The
new immigrants saw success and moved in on it. Caucasians are on their way out of Queens,reluctantly.!!

Anonymous said...

My brother used to valet park there. He said LOTS of shady characters would come for dinner. Many with really expensive cars and guns in the glove box.
Owner had a wife and 3 kids in Connecticut and had a girlfriend in Bayside who would come around with one of those stupid dogs under her arm.

Anonymous said...

your brother,the valet car parking employee, has zero credibility as far as i am concerned.
why was he looking into the customer's auto glove
compartments?? was that his job or was he a thief?

i do not believe that anyone would leave a gun in a
unlocked compartment.
the valet always gets a valet key from me . it will not open the glove compartment or trunk.

i do not believe your fantasy story.

Anonymous said...

my brother was being a nineteen year old who was intrigued by fast cars, fast women, guns and the men who had all those things
thankfully he grew up and those thugs didn't

as far as you not believing me, who gives a damn

Anonymous said...

This is an old story. After Umberto's Clam House, scene of the famous Gallo hit went into government receivership, the food got bad and business disappeared.

Say what you will, the mafiosa make good cooks. I hope that some of them go into the restaurant business permanently and leave the murder business behind.

Anonymous said...

does anyone know who the officers of the friendship
restaurant group are? there is also a listing for USHA
side,N.Y. Who are the major stockholders?

What a loss of nyc tax revenue.wait till these federal
bunglers begin rationing the citizens
labor generated social security contributions in my
youth,which pays for my medicare bills." DON'T
TREAD ON ME"leave my health insurance alone.i know what i am doing.CONG. GARY ACKERMAN,COME OUT OF HIDING!!! TEA PARTY EXPRESS WILL SET YOU FREE!!!

Richard Pastula said...

Worked there for almost 10 years. I saw it all. Yes there were guys who looked like they were in the mafia. But key word "looked"... Never did anybody have guns, beating people in the back of the place etc. This wasent a movie or tv show people. It was a restaurant owned by a Great man. The guy was there 5 days a week, 14 hours a day. Took care of any and all problems. The city lost millions this year, and also put 90 people on unemployement. Great job NY!!!!

Also if you ate there you would noticed the same faces of workers. 70% of the staff had been there for 5-10 years. We all got treated like family.

What a shame

Anonymous said...

I went there for a job interview and was interviewed by a famous chef who worked for robert de niro at tribeca grill and is a partner. Seemed like a great team is going to be opening a GEM in queens. From what i saw they are gut renovating the entire building from inside..should be AMAZING...

Anonymous said...

the new staff and the new team that has taken over cafe on the green is amazing! they are opening on sept 8th! cafe on the green was full of mafia and shady characters. this place is amazing. the interior is beautiful!! the chef don pintabona and giorgio kolaj of famous familigia pizza is going to hit it big at this queens landmark! its going to be absolutely amazing! better than cafe on the green ever dreamed it could be!!

Anonymous said...

joe franco finally got what was coming to him!!! The city kicked his big fat ass out of the place due to his mafia ties- or should I say mafia wanna be!! The guy really thought he was john gotti!! Not even close joe!!! I used to work for this guy- he DID NOT TREAT HIS HELP LIKE FAMILY!!! WE WERE SLAVES!!! HE IS MARRIED AND HAS A GIRLFREIND WHO WORKS WITH HIM!! joe I am so glad they kicked you out!! It took a few years but GOD IS NOT SLEEPING!! May your new place sink like the titanic!!

Anonymous said...


Anonymous said...

The old place was great, but I had a chance to eat at Valentino's on the Green this past weekend, All I have to say is AMAZING!!!! The place went through a complete overhaul and it is beautiful. The food was also a step up from before...Queens has a gem with the place...

Anonymous said...

Of course the food and everything else was amazing- NO joe franco to ruin things!! Thank You God joe is gone !!