A beloved Bay Ridge restaurant may have closed, but another eatery of its kind is primed to take its place.
After eight years, Italian restaurant Giacomo’s at 7902 Third Avenue has closed its doors in preparation for an opening in Staten Island. The relocation allows for Luliano’s, another family-owned business with similar eats, to soon take over.
Although there were rumors of renovation, on March 15, a note was posted to the eatery’s official Facebook page thanking customers for their over eight years of patronage.
“Our customers are our family and we truly appreciate it,” the statement read. “As of today Giacomo’s has been sold. After being approached by a family in the food industry, we accepted their offer to buy our Bay Ridge location. We wish them much success. We hope to see you all at our new location.”
Owner Giacomo Santangelo, who recently opened up shop at 170 New Dorp Lane, spoke to this paper about the move.
“The place was taking a toll on my personal life and my family life,” he said. “I was approached to sell and it was a good offer that I couldn’t refuse. I want to tell customers to visit me at my new location.”
Though it’s only been open for a week and change, Santangelo said that Bay Ridge residents have already crossed the bridge to eat at the new location.
“A lot of people have come here,” he said. “I’ve already had about 30 people and families come from Bay Ridge to eat here. It’s been wonderful. Some of them were yelling at me but it was a great feeling to have that and supposedly, there’s a wanted poster for me at Third Avenue.”
Santangelo had plenty of thanks for his devoted Brooklyn customers.
“More than anything else, I want to thank my customers for the loyalty they showed. They were really like family more than anything else,” he said. “I love Bay Ridge. I was just looking to find something a bit smoother and easier.”
Third Avenue Merchants President Bob Howe said the avenue will miss the eatery.
“They were well-loved and a good merchant and very generous to the community,” he said, adding also that Santangelo will be missed. “We understand he got a good offer from someone else to buy his business and at the same time an opportunity opened up for him to open up a restaurant with catering space in Staten Island. We’re sad to see him go but we’re looking forward to the new owner being as involved in the community and putting out the best product that they can.”
Luliano’s will open in the coming weeks, according to owners.
“We are going to be an Italian restaurant as well and we should be open in about two weeks,” said one owner. “It’s the same concept with wood-fire pizza. We’re trying to keep most of [Santangelo’s] menu, while keeping it simple and also letting our customers help decide what we add.
“We plan on having daily specials so that, according to what people like, we will adjust as we go along,” the owner added.
Howe believes Luliano’s will be embraced by local patrons.
“I think it will be very similar. The name has changed and we will miss Giacomo’s, but we are looking forward to the new owner filling his shoes,” he said. “It’s always been a great corner. That’s important for a restaurant to open on a corner that’s been successful in the past. It’s difficult to go into a space that hasn’t been too successful and make it successful because customers have a predetermined idea that it’s not going to be that much better than the old place.
“But here, people loved Giacomo’s and will love the new group that’s coming in,” Howe went on.
Owners also hope to replicate Giacomo’s success.
“I hope that our food speaks for itself because we are working really hard toward making it as good as possible,” an owner added. “I know a lot of people will be happy that it’s still going to be an Italian restaurant because I’ve to a good number of people that are either calling or walking by asking. A lot of people want to know what’s going on and they love Giacomo’s.
“From the sound of it, [Santangelo] was a great guy and we really hope we can live up to their expectations,” he said.