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The city Parks Department announced a change in ownership for Patrizia’s of Bayside after the Italian eatery cut back its operations to only providing catering services earlier this year but now has a reopening date about two months away.
Paul Nicaj and George Makkos, of 123 Restaurant Group, who also operate Battery Gardens in Battery Park, were named the establishment’s new concessionaires, Parks said. Makkos has also served as operator for Flushing’s Terrace on the Park.
The owners did not return calls seeking comment.
A Parks spokesman said the new owners were waiting for a liquor license and also plan to make minor interior changes to the restaurant before its opening later this spring.
The new owners of 123 Restaurant Group also plan to change Patrizia’s name, but have not yet decided what that would be, the spokesman said.
The Parks-owned Patrizia’s restaurant had replaced another upscale restaurant called Valentino’s on the Green with more moderately priced Italian cuisine during the summer.
“They are interested in keeping the Valentino connection, so they may call it Villa Valentino, but that’s not definite. But it will be an Italian restaurant,” a Parks spokesman said.
Patrizia’s original managers, Giacomo and Gennaro Alaio, said more than 1,000 dinners were served at the 201-10 Cross Island Parkway location without the help of advertising after its opening week.
The brothers took over the restaurant when it changed its name to Patrizia’s of Bayside and officially opened June 12, featuring a revamped family-style Italian menu. At the time of its opening, management said more moderate pricing should sustain the establishment’s new look and attract a greater demographic.
But after less than a year, Parks said difficulties with finances forced the restaurant to scale down its offerings to only catering, closing its lunch and dinner services.
But according to the Parks Department, those difficulties should be resolved now that the restaurant will operate under new ownership with experience and success coming out of its other city eateries.
The site was known for many years as Caffe on the Green, when it was operated by Joe Franco, who lost the concession in January 2009.
The building will operate under a 17-year lease as of its name change in June, Parks said.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org or by phone at 718-260-4573.
©2013 Community Newspaper Group
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