The Jolly Fisherman in Roslyn.

The Jolly Fisherman in Roslyn. Credit: Bruce Gilbert

Days after the owners of Roslyn’s Jolly Fisherman announced that the 66-year-old restaurant would close in June, Pietro’s of Manhattan has confirmed that it will be the building’s new tenant.

Bill Bruckman Jr., whose family has owned the Italian restaurant since 1994, said that they had been thinking about a Long Island location for years, and looking seriously for the last two. “It’s a natural for us,” he said. “Our client base in the city is at least 50% from Long Island. We really have a brand out there.”

Bruckman said that the pandemic brought the idea of a Long Island location into focus. “First, our clients who lived out there weren’t coming into the city anymore. Then, there were our clients who lived in the city who decided to move to Long Island.”

Pietro’s has an even longer history than does Jolly: It was founded in 1932 by Italian brothers Pietro, Natale and Luigi Donini. 

In terms of resistance to current culinary trends, Pietro’s menu can go toe to toe with Jolly’s. The Manhattan kitchen’s output is straight-ahead Italian American, from the clams casino, spaghetti and meatballs, fettuccini Alfredo and chicken scarpariello to the shrimp scampi and veal Parmesan, Marsala and saltimbocca. There’s even chicken tetrazzini and calf’s liver. But Pietro’s is also famous for its steaks — New York strips for one or two and filet mignon — which come with choice of French-fried, cottage-fried, mashed, au gratin, hash-brown, shoestring, Lyonnaise or baked potatoes.

Bruckman said that the Roslyn spot had almost double the capacity of the original Pietro’s and that would necessitate “streamlining the menu.” But they will not be changing its focus, or even adding more seafood. “We’re going out there to be Pietro’s,” he said. “That’s what people expect.”

When they first saw the Jolly Fisherman, the Bruckmans were struck by how much it already felt like Pietro’s. “We are going to change the décor, get rid of all that blue” he said, “but there shouldn’t be all that much to do. We hope to be open by Sept. 1.”

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