Popular Italian restaurant Trattoria L’incontro set to close in Astoria and open new location on Upper East Side

Trattoria location in Astoria
Photo via Trattoria L’incontro on Instagram

Popular Astoria Italian restaurant Trattoria L’incontro is set to close its doors for the final time on Sunday ahead of a planned move to the Upper East Side. 

Trattoria L’incontro, located at 21-76 31st St., has served the Astoria community for 25 years, offering a mixture of classic Italian fare and modern interpretations. 

According to chef and owner Rocco Sacramone, the new restaurant will open in Manhattan as L’incontro by Rocco at 1572 Second Ave. on the Upper East Side on June 4. It will close its doors on 31st Street on Sunday, May 26. 

Sacramone said the move to Upper East Side is “bittersweet”, stating that he has always wanted to operate a restaurant in Manhattan but that he will miss the Astoria community. 

He added that it would have been “very difficult” to simultaneously operate restaurants in Astoria and the Upper East Side due to the size of the Astoria location, which seats around 200 customers. 

The new restaurant will retain much of the same menu, Sacramone said, although it will be much smaller than Trattoria L’incontro, seating around 85 guests. 

Sacramone said he plans to bring around 90 percent of the staff currently employed at Trattoria L’incontro to the Upper East Side. 

He said the phone has been “ringing off the hook” at Trattoria L’incontro since he announced that the Astoria restaurant is shuttering, adding that he is preparing for a “crazy weekend.” 

Trattoria L’Incontro owner and chef Rocco Sacramone (left) pictured here with Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy (Trattoria L’Incontro/ Instagram)

“A lot of people want to come and say goodbye,” Sacramone shared with the Queens Post. “25 years – that’s a lot of memories to leave behind.”

“We have a gentleman that comes here two or three days a week. He’s been coming here forever. You know, I gave him the news yesterday and we both cried.” 

Sacramone credited the local community and said he believes he has created a familial environment at the Astoria restaurant. 

“You got people that have been coming here for 23 or 24 years,” he said. “After a point, you’re not a customer anymore- you become a family member. I feel that we created a big family in Astoria.”

“The community has been amazing to me. There’s a lot of great memories that I’m leaving behind. But at the end of the day, we’ve got to look forward. We can’t look behind us.” 

“We’ve been a staple here in Astoria, but in Italy, we say- when one door closes, another one opens.” 

Sacramone said he hopes to see many of his Astoria customers in L’incontro by Rocco once the Upper East Side location opens in early June.