Luigi’s Restaurant owner eyes Floral Park eatery

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Vincent DiRico, owner of Luigi's Restaurant & Bar in New Hyde Park, Queens, wants to open a second restaurant called Rosalia's at this location on South Tyson Avenue in Floral Park. (Photo from Google Maps)

The owner of an Italian restaurant in New Hyde Park is planning to open a sister eatery in Floral Park.

Vinny DiRico, the owner of Luigi’s Restaurant & Bar on Union Turnpike in Queens and a 22-year Floral Park resident, plans to open a new spot called Rosalia at 86 S. Tyson Ave., he said in an email.

The 4,280-square-foot space is the former home of Koenig’s Restaurant, a German eatery that shuttered in 2015. Questus South Tyson LLC, a real estate developer, is building five apartments on the floor above the restaurant and 16 more in a second building across the street at 77 S. Tyson Ave.

“I love the brick building along with the history of the building,” DiRico said in an email from Italy, where he said he is “doing some research.” “I always thought it was a great spot for a restaurant.”

Rosalia will have 148 table seats and 11 lounge seats once the restaurant is renovated, according to documents filed with the village Building Department.

DiRico said he hopes to open the new eatery by the start of 2018. The nearby apartments will give it a “local city feel,” he said in his email.

Martin Passante, a Smithtown architect who also designed the apartment project for Questus South Tyson, filed the plans on DiRico’s behalf. He did not return a phone call seeking comment.

DiRico opened Luigi’s in October 1992. The menu there features wood-fired pizza, homemade pasta and classic Italian entrees such as chicken parmesan.

Rosalia’s will be similar, he said, but “each location will have its own unique personality.”

“We want to create a menu that the local community will embrace,” DiRico said in his email. “The concept relies on a menu that we hope the community will enjoy for many years to come.”

DiRico needs a special use permit from the Village of Floral Park Board of Trustees and an exception to zoning rules from the Board of Zoning Appeals. The Board of Trustees will hold a hearing on his plans on July 18 at 8 p.m.

Residents have previously expressed concerns about traffic congestion at the site of the restaurant and apartment complex, which is located less than two blocks from Floral Park’s Long Island Rail Road station.

The complex will have a total of 77 parking spaces between a lot on the ground floor of the new building and a separate lot at 85 S. Tyson Ave.

The apartment project is Floral Park’s first example of “transit-oriented” housing targeted primarily at affluent young professionals who commute to New York City for work.

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