ASTORIA — An Italian restaurant that's been an Astoria staple for more than 30 years closed its doors for good earlier this month.
Ponticello, a northern Italian eatery on Broadway near 47th Street, shuttered the first week of January, according to posts on its website and Facebook page. The blog We Heart Astoria was the first to report the closure.
"Friends, it is with a heavy heart we say goodbye," the restaurant's owners wrote on Facebook. "The time has come for us to end this chapter and start a new one in our lives."
The restaurant had been operating for more than 34 years, according the owners' Facebook post. The New York Times reviewed the eatery in 1985, describing it as "an unpretentious restaurant of modest size" that serves "honest Italian worth the wait."
Friends Pepi Honovic and Luigi Kucica opened Ponticello after coming to New York from their native Croatia, according to a 2010 profile of the business from Juniper Park Civic Association.
It described the restaurant as a popular choice for anniversaries, christenings and other celebrations.
"Our goal has always been to make you feel like you're stepping into the house of a friend when you came through our doors," the owners wrote on their website.
"Judging from the relationships we have built over the years, we are confident we achieved our goal."