Christiano’s, once thought to be Billy Joel's famed "Italian Restaurant," has uncorked their last chianti.
The Syosset eatery served their last customers before finally closing on Monday after 56 years of business, reported Newsday.
Many speculated that the restaurant would soon close and new owners, Singh Hospitality Group, confirmed they had purchased the eatery last year. Plans to close the restaurant were postponed in August, though new owners admitted the restaurant would eventually close.
Christiano’s, a Syosset staple since 1958, was always a well-known restaurant, but not outside the north shore of Long Island. That is, until a Levittown kid gave it a shout out from his piano.
When Billy Joel debuted “Scenes from an Italian Restaurant” at a concert at C.W. Post in 1977, he dedicated the song to Christiano’s, hinting that the eatery was his inspiration.
Joel admitted in 2012 that, "It was like saying ‘Yankees’ when you're playing in New York,” and that the actual “Italian Restaurant” is in New York City, said Newsday.
Still, Joel’s love put Christiano’s on the map of any outsider looking for a taste of Long Island. For insiders, it remained a place where generations would remember toasting at countless family dinners before a grandparent declared “Mangia! Mangia!”
Christiano’s will remain in the Syosset family, as Chef Tom Schaudel, of Syosset's CoolFish, signed on to revamp the restaurant's concept, said Newsday. The facility will be updated before the restaurant is reopened, said the report.
While it will no longer bear the Christiano’s name nor will it likely be an Italian restaurant, the spirit of Billy Joel’s musical shout out will stay.
“Whatever we do, he [Billy Joel] will always be a part of it,” Singh told Newsday.A reopening date has not yet been announced.