Riccardo’s by the Bridge, a beloved, nearly 70-year-old Astoria restaurant, was sold for $6.3 million just three months after the owners announced the business would permanently close.
The property, located at 21-01 24th Ave., sold on Dec. 24 to a company listed as Astoria Park Warehouse LLC based in Woodside, according to public records.
An agent with the real estate company Douglas Elliman brokered the deal, describing the location as a “rare development opportunity near Astoria park waterfront” and “ripe for condo or rental development.”
The real estate broker behind the deal, Alexander Pereira, told the Astoria Post that the owner also purchased a nearby site at 23-91 21st St. The owner plans to develop them as residential and retail locations.
Anthony Corbisiero, president of Riccardo’s by the Bridge, announced the restaurant and event space would permanently close in September of last year, as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and the city- and state-imposed restrictions that came along with it.
“This decision has been extremely difficult to make, and is solely due to the various impacts of the COVID pandemic; if it were up to us we would cater your special events forever,” wrote Corbisiero in an open letter on their website.
The restaurant, which was family-owned and operated since Richard Corbisiero opened it in 1951, was an important part of the Astoria community — where generations of Queens families celebrated countless weddings, anniversaries, birthdays, graduations, political events and more.
Tony Bennett, the award-winning singer-songwriter, was a singing waiter at Riccardo’s before he made it big. When he saw the news about its closing, he wrote on Twitter, “I always felt that if I never made it as a performer, I would still be happy as a singing waiter. I’m very sorry to hear of its closing after nearly 70 years.”