Christiano’s in Syosset, the pasta-parm house long debated to have been the inspiration for Billy Joel’s “Scenes From an Italian Restaurant,” finally closed on Monday. The Singh Hospitality Group announced its plans to shutter and reinvent the "bottle of red, bottle of white" restaurant last year, then gave it a reprieve in August.
What about the Billy Joel memorabilia that defined the decor? Company president Harendra Singh said it would remain and be designed into the new restaurant. “Whatever we do, he [Billy Joel] will always be a part of it.”
There is no name or date set for a re-opening. “First, we will fix the kitchen,” Singh said. As for the restaurant’s future culinary identity, Singh said he has no plans as yet but would consult with chef-restaurateur Tom Schaudel, who, last year, had been recruited to direct the restaurant's makeover.
Reached by phone, Schaudel said that Singh has not yet contacted him. Schaudel had initially consulted on Chow Down Diner in Bethpage, a recent Singh Hospitality Group project that switched ownership to Singh's wife Ruby's company, Gold Coast Hospitality, before opening. Schaudel withdrew from the project when the changeover occurred.
Singh estimated that Christiano’s had between 10 and 12 employees. He said his company is still processing the last week’s pay and is trying to place some of the former employees at other Singh venues.