A pepperoni pizzette at Vespa Italian Chop House in Northport.

A pepperoni pizzette at Vespa Italian Chop House in Northport. Credit: Yvonne Albinowski

Vespa Italian Chop House of Northport has served its last chop — and fried calamari and pasta con sarde.  Michael LoManto, who opened the restaurant with his parents, Benedetto and Cynthia LoManto, said that the family wanted to focus on their other projects.

The Chop House opened in 2020, an offshoot of the LoManto family’s first restaurant, Farmingdale’s Vespa Italian Kitchen & Bar. The Northport location opened only three weeks before the pandemic lockdown but managed to attract customers first with drive-through wood-fired pizza service and then with drive-in movie nights.

The LoMantos also founded Harley's American Grille in Farmingdale, which is now Michael LoManto’s primary responsibility. "I was spreading myself too thin," he said. “When Harley's opened it was a steakhouse,” he said. “Last year, we changed the design, changed the menu — it’s now a true American grill and it's been doing so well, I wanted to put my focus here." 

His father is now solely focused on the original Vespa, named for the iconic Italian scooter that, most memorably, conveyed Audrey Hepburn and Gregory Peck all over Rome in the 1953 film “Roman Holiday.”

In the last two years Michael LoManto and partners also opened three Kick’N Chickens. Of the three Nashville-style fried-chicken spots, Farmingdale closed in July, Smithtown closed in September and Huntington has been sold to another operator.

The Northport space is slated to become a Mediterranean restaurant. The new operators are related to the owners of Kyma in Roslyn and Manhattan.

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