Tag Archives: Caffe on the Green

Bayside restaurant Vivaldi celebrates grand opening

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photos by Melissa Chan

Vivaldi, at 201-10 Cross Island Parkway, celebrated its grand opening on July 23.

“I feel excellent for being able to bring it to opening day today,” said operator George Makkos. “I’m happy to be here.”

The restaurant replaces Patrizia’s of Bayside. It was also once Caffe on the Green and Valentino’s on the Green.



New owner looks to end unlucky streak at former Patrizia’s of Bayside site

| mchan@queenscourier.com

THE COURIER/Photo by Melissa Chan

The new owner of a luckless Bayside restaurant site is determined to end a streak of bad breaks at the locale.

“We’re going to bring it back to its original glory,” said George Makkos, whose newest restaurant, Vivaldi, replaces Patrizia’s of Bayside.

The 201-10 Cross Island Parkway building had been a revolving door of new management since the popular Caffe on the Green closed in 2009.

Valentino’s on the Green took over after that, but was soon followed by Patrizia’s. Patrizia’s shut down after less than a year in business.

Vivaldi is set to open for dinner in the first or second week of June.

“I don’t want to compare myself to anybody,” said Makkos, 51, of Manhattan. “I cannot speak for anybody else. I can only speak for what I stand for, and I stand for quality, perfection, impeccable service and attentiveness to the customer.”

A Parks Department spokesperson said Makkos has a record of running successful upscale restaurants. The president of 123 Restaurant Group, he operates several wedding venues and catering halls in Queens, Manhattan and Long Island, including Battery Gardens and the Venetian Yacht Club.

Makkos said the menu will feature homemade dishes cooked to original recipes concocted by Caffe’s former executive chef. He added that Vivaldi will use the finest ingredients on everything including brick-oven pizza.

While the menu and prices have not been finalized, Makkos said there will be “gracious portions for a value.” Food options will also change to refl ect the season, with lighter dishes in the summer.

Vivaldi is in the process of obtaining a liquor license. The restaurant will be open seven days a week. After the June launch, it will expand to offer lunch and catering along with dinner.






Parks Department finds new operator for Patrizia’s of Bayside

| ctumola@queenscourier.com

File photo

Patrizia’s of Bayside, the former site of Caffe on the Green and Valentino’s on the Green, has found a new operator, according to Queens Parks Commissioner Dorothy Lewandowski.

“We are very excited that a new concessionaire will be operating the former Valentino’s on the Green and look forward to the reopening,” said Lewandowski.

The new operator, 123 Restaurant Group is owned by George Makkos and Paul Nicaji. the pair who run the successful Battery Gardens restaurant in Battery Park. Makkos is also the operator of Terrace on the Park, located in Flushing Meadows-Corona Park.

Although 123 has not decided on a name for the future Italian restaurant, they are interested in keeping the Valentino connection and may call it Villa Valentino, said Lewandowski.

It is expected to open in about two months after they obtain a liquor license transfer and make some minor changes to the interior.



Former Caffe on the Green owner returning to Whitestone

By Queens Courier Staff | editorial@queenscourier.com

After a parking structure proved to have too hefty a price tag, the former owner of Caffe on the Green has decided on a new project.

The restaurateur purchased The White House in Whitestone, with plans to build a new restaurant and catering hall. But when it became clear that a high water table was complicating the process, he decided to build commercial and office space instead.

“We’re going to make a spectacular looking building, front and back,” said the owner. “We’re going to dress up this block and add a lot of chicness to Whitestone.”

The owner’s original idea was to build a grand restaurant and catering facility, but he hit a road block in the form of a parking lot. He was told he would have to build a parking system that would cost upwards of $2 million to build – and this is separate from the cost of building the restaurant itself.

Realizing the cost was just too much, the Whitestone restaurateur, whose company, Merissa Management Holdings LLC will handle construction, decided to change his plans. Instead of a restaurant and catering operation, he will now build 7,000-square-feet of retail on the first floor, 7,000-square-feet of office suites on the second floor and the same amount of space on the lower level.

“It is going to be gorgeous,” said the restaurateur, who is working with Papa Architect on the project. “I’m thinking about calling it ‘White Beach Plaza.’”

Councilmember Dan Halloran, while stopping short of commenting on the specifics, did say that any development must honor Whitestone.

“I am working with the neighborhood and the developer to preserve the integrity of this block of Whitestone,” he said. “Any growth in northeast Queens must be done responsibly and with the community’s concerns in mind.”