The corner store at the intersection of Franklin Avenue and Langdon Street in Franklin Square has housed a series of workaday businesses, among them, a flooring distributor, a heating-and-plumbing service and a photo studio. But the ramshackle site got a glamorous makeover when Vito and Danny Altesi decided to turn it into a cafe featuring homemade gelato. Done up in gleaming tiles and funky lighting, Dolce Gelato opened for business at the beginning of July.
The brothers were well equipped to handle the renovation; with their father, they own KW Kitchen Designs, less than a mile away on Hempstead Turnpike.
For the gelato, they turned to a friend of a friend, Salvatore Potestio, a veteran gelato maker who made a name for himself in Manhattan first with L’Arte del Gelato on Barrow Street, and then at its successor at the same location, Dolce Gelateria, which closed in 2015. Since then, Vito Altesi said, Potestio was still producing gelato for wholesale clients, “but he missed the interaction with customers and so we asked him to come out here.”
Potestio makes small batches of gelato fresh every day. Flavors range from chocolate, pistachio and strawberry to fig-honey Snickers and rainbow cookie. Cups and cones are $4.95 for two flavors, $5.95 for three. There are also shakes made with gelato ($6.50) and pastries from local Italian bakeries including brioches buns that are just waiting to be filled with gelato for the popular Sicilian breakfast sandwich treat. To drink: Italian sodas and espresso drinks. The bright dining room has mint-colored chairs and stools, and dark chocolate tables.
Hours are 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. on weekdays, to 11 p.m. Friday to Sunday.
Dolce Gelateria is at 220 Franklin Ave., Franklin Square, 516-673-4994.