A classic Bronx eatery is returning with a modern twist.
According to new owner James Joseph ‘JJ’ Garzia, Busco’s will reopen early this spring as JJ Busco’s Sandwich Shoppe and Grille at its original 2990 Bruckner Boulevard location.
Garzia, a Throggs Neck resident who opened his first restaurant when he was 21-years-old, said no specific grand opening date has yet been established
Mike M., Garzia’s brother-in-law, and Pasquale Boiano, Garzia’s father-in-law, will serve as managing partners.
JJ Busco’s bold red lettered sign went up on Monday, February 12 and will remain lit every night once the store opens.
Underneath the sign will be a canopy reading Sandwich Shoppe and Grille with a brief menu description.
Garzia confirmed that Busco’s iconic roof will remain unaltered.
“Whenever people think of Busco’s that roof is one of the many things that comes to their minds,” he said. “It’s like a landmark and we would never want to change it.”
The 1,200 square foot store was fully gutted and refurbished.
JJ Busco’s will have a 1950s diner themed sit-in dining area with 20 seats; two 55 inch flat screen televisions; an espresso bar and an open style kitchen outfitted with a 48 inch grill, a 10-burner stove, two ovens, two charbroilers and a funnel cake fryer.
Keeping with its 1950s motif, JJ Busco’s interior will sport a black and white checkered floor and poinsettia red and graphite gray walls.
Its extensive menu includes Busco’s beloved classic hot Italian heroes and sandwiches, ten types of Philly cheesesteaks, different combos for hot dogs and sliders (mini-hamburgers), homemade chili, a variety of buffalo wings and sauces, cheese fries, knishes, milkshakes, classic chocolate and vanilla egg creams, coffee, cappuccinos, fried Oreos and zeppoles.
JJ Busco’s will open everyday at 6 a.m. for breakfast and will close at 10 p.m. on weekdays.
Garzia said the eatery will be open later hours on weekends.
JJ Busco’s will offer delivery and catering.
“I always loved the location and I used to go there with my grandpa to get meatball parm heroes,” shared Garzia.
Busco’s was established in the early 1950s by World War II Air Force veteran John ‘Busco’ Casalinuovo after he left the service.
Despite its humble beginnings, Busco’s soon grew into a prime dining spot where patrons could watch their food be cooked by local chefs inside an open style kitchen.
“I took good care of my girls who did all of the cooking. We treated them like they were family,” said Louise Casalinuovo, the original Busco’s partner and John’s 93-year-old widow.
In its heyday, it was common to see double parked vehicles and long lines of eager customers waiting for their Busco’s sandwich.
Students from local schools would often patronize Busco’s during their lunch periods.
“That store really was a family store and we catered to all of our neighbors,” expressed Casalinuovo. “We even had police, firefighters, senators and congressmen stop in for sandwiches.”
Busco’s closed its doors in 2009 after the original owners retired, said Garzia.
For additional information, visit JJ Busco’s Instagram, jjbuscos and its Facebook page, JJ Busco’s Sandwich Shoppe and Grille.