A fixture on Manhattan’s Mulberry Street for more than 100 years has settled into new Long Island digs.
Angelo’s Little Italy, which opened in 1902, migrated east in August to 221 Broadway in Amityville under the ownership of Tina Aprea, whose family ran Angelo’s of Mulberry Street for five decades.
“It’s a new place, it’s a different appearance,” said Aprea, an Amityville resident who grew up in Brooklyn. “But when people taste the food — especially the spiedini di mozzarella — they tell me they close their eyes and it’s as if they’re sitting in Angelo’s in Manhattan.”
How it started
For Aprea, the revival of Angelo’s marks the latest chapter in a family tradition that began in 1965. That’s when her dad, Giovanni, went to work prepping food in the kitchen of the Neapolitan restaurant soon after he and his wife Enza arrived in New York City from Naples.
Within five years, he owned Angelo’s, later bringing in his son and daughter to learn how to run a restaurant.
“He would have me in the kitchen prepping,” Tina Aprea recalled. ”He would say, ‘You’re not just going to walk around like a pretty girl, you have to learn the business inside and out.’”
The lessons stuck.
The Mulberry Street spot initially closed following a 2018 fire that injured 12, just months after Giovanni Aprea died at age 77. An attempted comeback during the pandemic was short-lived for a restaurant whose famous guests included President Reagan, actress Sophia Loren and basketball great Kobe Bryant.
“As we were rebuilding after the fire, COVID hit,” Tina Aprea said. “Then we tried to open and we could only have 30 people in a 150-seater and I couldn’t stay open, there was no way.”
Coming to Long Island
Aprea said the decision to open Angelo’s 33 miles from its longtime Little Italy base made sense.
“An opportunity came up and I was like all right, what are we doing here?” she said. “I wanted to carry on the tradition of our family and our roots.
“I wanted to bring that food to Long Island.”
Aprea said Angelo’s Little Italy menu is “95% similar” to that of the old Mulberry Street restaurant, with many of the same chefs that were there for years now working in Amityville.
Menu standouts, she said, include spaghetti crab sauce over black linguini and the spiedini, which features fresh mozzarella in a special sauce.
“It’s to die for,” she said.
The cooks are not the only links to the past — Angelo’s Little Italy also has the same neon blue sign that glowed for years in Manhattan.
“When people walk in, the first thing they say is ‘Oh my God, there’s the sign,” Aprea said. “It’s on a wall in the restaurant.
“So they remember those old stories and now we’re trying to create new ones.”
Angelo’s Little Italy is at 221 Broadway in Amityville. Hours of operation are 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. from Monday through Saturday and noon to 9 p.m. on Sundays.