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Christiano's Won't Close...Yet

Iconic Italian restaurant postpones closure indefinitely.

File photo.
File photo.
You can still get a bottle of red and a bottle of white at Christiano's for the time being. 

New owners recently announced they are postponing plans to close the iconic Italian joint made famous in Billy Joel's "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant." 

"As of now it's staying as Christiano's," said Manager Amy Sierra. "It's not going to close, not this year anyway; it may even stay open next year."

Sierra said the decision was delayed because Singh Hospitality Group, which bought the Christiano's early this year, is preoccupied with other projects. 

Harendra Singh, CEO of Singh Hospitality Group, announced plans to close the popular Syosset landmark in February and reopen it under a new concept. Chef Tom Schaudel, of CoolFish, had reportedly signed on to the project at the time.

It's not going to be an Italian restaurant, but I’m not exactly sure what it’s going to be,” he told Newsday, saying he has already scheduled meetings with designers.

When residents first heard the news that Christiano's was closing, many said they'd lament the loss of a legend. With its curved wooden bar, red-and-white tablecloths, and throwback decor, Christiano's has been home to memorable good times. 

Sara Puccio summed it up well with her comment:

"Dollar bills on the ceiling, Rosie's big smile when she brought your food. Great pizza...I was here 1x per week as a child and teenager. It's so much a part of Syosset and our history. It's where friends met, families gathered and memories were made." 

Steve September 01, 2013 at 01:53 AM
Why do people continue to believe in the myth that Christianos is THE Italian Restaurant from Billy Joel's song? I was at a concert when Billy, himself, said that he been asked many times where the exact restaurant was and he said that it was closed down long ago. He mentioned another town that I cannot remember now, but it was not Syosset. If it were it would have stuck in my head because I have lived here my entire life. So let's finally put this myth to bed once and for all. It makes for a nice story to tell. But it's just not true.
Michael D. Rubin September 01, 2013 at 05:29 PM
Steve-you are correct...but...from Wikipedia (so authenticity not guaranteed): "On May 6, 1977, before the song's official release, Joel premiered it at Long Island University C.W. Post Campus. He dedicated the song to Christiano's restaurant, located in Syosset, New York." Further down (Verified): "After years of speculation about exactly which restaurant inspired the song, Joel stated in an interview included on The Stranger 30th anniversary edition DVD that the song was written about a restaurant located across from Carnegie Hall called Fontana di Trevi, which he frequented during a series of June 1977 concerts in Manhattan. The song's famous signature line: A bottle of white, a bottle of red, perhaps a bottle of rosé instead?" was actually spoken to him by a waiter at Fontana di Trevi while Joel ordered.[3] He has further stated that the restaurant in the story has more than one real-life counterpart; however, Fontana di Trevi was on his mind while he was writing the song."

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