Little Italy celebrates new restaurant openings, business expansions and reopenings

Belmont Business Improvement District (BID), Chairman Peter Madonia
Photos by Jason Cohen

The Belmont Business Improvement District hosted a ribbon cutting ceremony on, Oct. 9 to celebrate new restaurant openings, local business expansions and the official reopening of Roberto’s Restaurant in Little Italy.

Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue will expand into the Arthur Avenue Retail Market with “Enzo’s On the Go” and nearby beer hall Clinton Hall, which will offer more open air seating. At “Enzo’s On the Go” patrons will be able to sample scrumptious Roman-style pizza.

Additionally, the Belmont BID recently welcomed new Mediterranean eatery Avenue Gyro, Albanian eatery Dea and Last Call Bar & Grill, whose owner Nicolette Lekocaj, is the daughter of Elizabeth Kajtazi’s, owner of neighborhood staple, MichaelAngelo’s. Also, the neighborhood will welcome a new Japanese ramen eatery with a Caribbean twist, Roc N Ramen, in late 2020.

“We’re going to celebrate the opening of four new businesses in this neighborhood, which is stunning,” said Belmont Business Improvement District Chairman Peter Madonia.

Madonia noted many businesses on Arthur Avenue, including his own Madonia Bakery, have existed for a century or more and have survived the Spanish Flu, the Great Depression, 9/11 and now COVID-19.

On hand at the event was Councilman Richie Torres, who told the attendees and business owners that Arthur Avenue is a unique place.

“About a month ago I had real concerns about the survival of NYC as a dining destination, but Arthur Ave., I have cause for hope,” Torres said. “This neighborhood is a community full of innovators and immigrants. If there’s one community that knows how to get things work and get it right, it’s Arthur Ave.”

After being shuttered for seven months, Roberto Paciullo, owner of Roberto’s Restaurant, is elated that he is finally open.

“We are like one big family here on Arthur Ave.,” he stressed. “We support each other.”

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