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On the Bank of the Riviera

Abington’s newest restaurant is an old favorite.

 

A yellow sign has been hanging outside of the former bank at the corner of Easton and Bradfield roads for quite a long time: “Coming soon. Riviera D’Italia.”

Well, that sign can be taken down, as the well-established Riviera made the move across the street to its new location, opening yesterday at noon.

Owners Sal and Brigid Sparacio were more than busy yesterday — there was a constant flow of people coming in and out of the restaurant. It’s something of a new experience for both of them; the new, larger restaurant brings a lot of change.

“A lot of things here are new for us,” Brigid Sparacio said while sitting at one of the restaurant’s tables in the main dining room. “We were open at our old location all day yesterday, so at the end of the day yesterday we did transfer a few pizza ovens and a dough machine! So far, everything’s going smooth today, and the transition has been easy.”

Sal's family opened Riviera at its former location on Easton Road in 1979, and Sal took the reins ten years later. That location was getting somewhat desolate, so the pair decided to make a change.

“We started thinking about purchasing [the new property] in the summer of 2011,” Brigid said. “We were actually looking at another location, but the parking wasn’t sufficient.

“All of a sudden, the auction sign for this property went up,” she continued. “We said, ‘Let’s go to the open house.’ Once we did, we started envisioning the restaurant — where the kitchen would go, where the seating would be …”

The restaurant’s main dining area is highlighted by a silver bank vault, which sits in the back. (Brigid said its walls are 18 inches thick, so even if it weren’t cool to look at, the safe would have to stay.) To the right is the kitchen, as well as a pizzeria-style seating area. There is also a private dining area in the rear of the restaurant. Parking is improved, as the site can accommodate about 20 cars; additional parking can be had at Faith Community Church across the street.

With the new restaurant comes four times the staff — including servers and hosts — a new computerized order-taking system, a new chef, and new entrees. And the restaurant is now a BYOB.

Though there are plenty of changes to the restaurant, Brigid, a lifelong resident of Roslyn, said one thing couldn’t change.

“We’ve gotten a great response from the community on the move, and It was absolutely important to stay in Abington,” she said. 

Marc Lombardi January 14, 2013 at 01:22 PM
Looks great. And what's even better is that the once-abandoned bank is now a thriving part of the Roslyn community again. I look forward to checking out their new location, as Riviera has long been a staple of the Roslyn Events Committee when we're screening films for our film festival.
tedtaylor January 14, 2013 at 02:47 PM
Good luck Sal & Brigid. It took a certain amount of courage to open a restaurant in this economy. This area needs a nice, fine, restaurant like this and, maybe, it will breath some new life in to Roslyn. I urge people to check them out, my wife and I will do so soon.
Cheryl McNamara January 14, 2013 at 05:37 PM
Best of luck to the Sparacio Family on your new restaurant. May you have many years of happiness there.
Cadillac Man January 14, 2013 at 06:44 PM
The Riv Rocks! Good luck Sal!!!!!
Rudy Ramdass January 14, 2013 at 11:24 PM
Good luck on the new venture
Carol DiJoseph January 15, 2013 at 12:03 AM
Good luck to you! Great venture. No two people have worked harder to make a business work and at the same time been very generous to the community. You've supported many worthy causes. Now the community has a chance to support you in your new venue. May 2013 be a lucky, lucky number.
Cindy Keshishian January 15, 2013 at 01:27 AM
So happy to have a nice pizzeria/restaurant in Roslyn. Just what this area needed. Can't wait to enjoy our next family meal there and what's even better it's within walking distance! Best of Luck
Cathy Winning January 15, 2013 at 02:17 PM
We had dinner there last night; excellent food and service and a nice friendly atmosphere! Love the back room which would be great for showers, birthdays, etc.
Debra Baxter March 09, 2013 at 10:33 PM
Wonderful place. Wonderful food. I didn't frequent Rivera in the past because they didn't deliver and picking up pizza and steaks is just such a hassle, but now with this new location and wonderful menu, and I mean wonderful I can dine there,have any kind of entree I want, even Pizza or Cheese Steaks. My husband and I had Lobster Ravioli and Veal Parm a few nights ago. It really was delicious. I highly reccommend this wonderful resturant to everyone.. Best of luck Sal and Bridgid!! D. Baxter Roslyn Resident Director of Admin, Hillside Cemetery, Roslyn

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