Rino’s Restaurant serves lasting memories

Rino’s Restaurant serves lasting memories
Community News Group / Robert Wirsing

After more than three decades of serving traditional Italian fare an iconic Bronx restaurant has closed its doors.

Saturday, August 27 marked the final day for Rino’s Italian Restaurant, but it was just like any other day for the well-known East Tremont Avenue eatery.

Many customers patronized Rino’s on Friday, August 26 to dine with family and friends and wish the restaurant’s staff well.

Popular Italian music and laughter filled the air.

This same day, Fr. Robert Dunn, Jeanne Jugan Residence chaplain, celebrated his birthday at the restaurant with his family and blessed the staff.

Rino’s co-owners Gaspar D’Rendi and Carmine Fardella, grew up in the restaurant business which served as the catalyst for their careers.

Both were employed at other restaurants before they ventured out on their own.

D’Rendi and Fardella’s dream became reality when they first opened Rino’s in Morris Park on February 12, 1983.

Rino’s would relocate to Throggs Neck in 1990 where it became a neighborhood staple.

The old-fashioned restaurant specialized in heaping portions of familiar Italian American classics such as chicken marsala, linguine Rino’s and fried calamari among others leading to its 33 years of success.

D’Rendi and Fardella sold the property so they could enjoy retirement.

Fardella said a Japanese hibachi restaurant is in the works for Rino’s location.

“We’ve been packed since this past Monday,” said D’Rendi. “A lot of people come here with their families telling us how much this restaurant has meant to them.”

The partners said they look forward to spending time with their family and grandchildren.

Michael Bernard, Ring 10 vice president, said Ring 10 would meet at Rino’s the second Tuesday of every month with police officers, lawyers, local politicians and residents to discuss event and fundraising ideas for retired boxers in need.

Lifelong Throggs Neck resident and Ring 10 member, John Marano has been going to Rino’s since he was six-years-old.

Marano celebrated many milestones at his favorite eatery throughout the years including his St. Frances de Chantal School 25th Reunion, family and friends’ birthdays and First Holy Communions.

“It’s a cozy restaurant with great food and friends,” he said. “Gaspar and Carmine treat everyone like family and we hope they will stay in touch with us.”

Rino’s was one of many local businesses that participated in the Throggs Neck Merchants Association’s inaugural Throggs Neck Restaurant Week.

“Rino’s has been a neighborhood institution for many years and have always been an active participant in many of our events,” said Stephen Kaufman, TNMA president.

He added, Rino’s allowed TNMA to host many meetings at the eatery.

“We wish Gaspar and Carmine tremendous happiness on their retirement. They’ve worked very hard and deserve it,” Kaufman said.

The former log cabin at 3938 E. Tremont Avenue has been the home to many restaurants.

For decades it was the Neck Inn and later it featured big band music as Buster Long’s.