‘OH my, is it Ash Wednesday already?’ I thought upon seeing the black smudge on the forehead of a woman in the subway car after quickly swiveling my neck to avert my eyes from the homeless man with a pint of something clear in one hand and an unlit cigar in the other yet still enshrouded in a mystery miasma.
Lost in the fog, I had something big to report: the possible closing of Bella Via! No descriptive necessary as everyone in Long Island City knows that I am referring to the landmark restaurant prominently located on Vernon and 48th Avenue. The big question is ‘What’s Up?’
Darkened for the past few days and not picking up the phone, there have been a host of rumors including: it’s just short term renovations, it’s been sold and will be run as-is by a new operator, it will become another restaurant altogether, it just ain’t opening back up.
Bella Via was opened by Sal Polito in 2002. Sal was familiar with the neighborhood through his father who worked in a butcher shop located across the street from St. Mary’s church on Vernon Blvd. A year later the restaurant received a glowing review by William Grimes in The New York Times and the rest is history. Until now…
Diner’s Journal: Bella Via – William Grimes NYT April 2003
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ASensibleMan saysMarch 6, 2022 at 11:40 am
It seems like Indie LIC in the LINC building on Crescent may also be closed permanently. They were supposed to re-open in January and never did. It’s been dark ever since.
J saysMarch 7, 2022 at 4:06 pm
In the case someone buys this to open another restaurant, I will be the first to form a community task force to intervene swiftly should they even joke about removing that beautiful coal oven. Many great memories at Bella Via, and Sal was always a warm host.
Anonymous saysMarch 7, 2022 at 4:36 pm
it didn’t seem like a restaurant that was going out of business when i walked by last thursday – paper on windows….looked like maybe they were doing work inside.
if it was closing i dont think there would be paper up. just dark restaurant.
MS saysMarch 9, 2022 at 10:49 am
hope sal still involved and the staff returns
please see if you get the low down
PattiC saysMarch 19, 2022 at 5:06 pm
Bella Via has not closed! Yay!! They are renovating.
Anonymous saysMarch 22, 2022 at 4:00 pm
Is this confirmed?
Anonymous saysMarch 27, 2022 at 9:09 am
Chris saysMarch 31, 2022 at 3:18 am
you think they could have the decency to put a sign on the door stating that or on there answering machine when call,.. weird!!!
Anonymous saysApril 1, 2022 at 6:25 pm
There’s a “For Rent” sign so if they’re renovating it doesn’t seem for Sal and familia.
Anonymous saysMarch 30, 2022 at 5:14 pm
If they do reopen, it will be without Sal. Sal and his staff gave us excellent food, drinks and music over the past 20 years. I, for one, will miss them!
Anonymous saysApril 1, 2022 at 4:29 pm
There’s a for rent sign
Johnny saysApril 2, 2022 at 7:42 am
closed for good!! greedy landlord!!