Photo via Google Maps
The restaurant and banquet facility located at 201-10 Cross Island Parkway in Bayside.

The historic Bayside mansion near the Throgs Neck Bridge that has been one of the neighborhood’s most popular eateries through the years will be under new management later this month, a city agency said.

According to Parks Department spokesperson Meghan Lalor, the restaurant at 201-10 Cross Island Pkwy., a former mansion that silent film actor Rudolph Valentino and former Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia once called home, will begin operating as Vivo Mediterranean Grille on Wednesday, May 24. The site is currently operated as Vivaldi’s Ristorante by 123 Restaurant Group.

Gieto Nicaj and Paul Nicaj, two relatives who are also well established in the New York City food and beverage industry, will run operations at the soon-to-be Vivo Mediterranean Grille. Paul Nicaj, who resides in Whitestone, operates Battery Gardens Restaurant in Manhattan.

Vivaldi’s will continue to operate at the site until May 23, and Vivo Mediterranean Grille will open the following day, ensuring that there won’t be any service disruptions, according to the Parks Department.

“This represents a change in the site’s operator without any break in service for the public,” Lalor said of the transition.

Last year, the Parks Department — which owns the historic mansion near the Clearview Golf Course — and Vivaldi’s Ristorante mutually agreed to an early termination of its license agreement. Shortly thereafter, Parks Commissioner Mitchell J. Silver issued a public request for proposal (RFP), inviting interested parties to apply to take over the operation, renovation and maintenance of the facility.

In reviewing applicants, the city agency was looking for a new operator “willing to continue providing high-quality dining and banquet services to New Yorkers at [the] world-class location,” according to Lalor.

The restaurant and event venue boasts beautiful views of northern Queens and is flanked by the Clearview Golf Course. Vivaldi’s Ristorante took over the space in May 2013. Prior to that, the restaurant was operated as Patrizia’s, Valentino’s on the Green and Caffé on the Green.


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