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An Italian Family Tradition for over 55 Years

By: Maria Orlando Pietromonaco

Over 55 years ago a family tradition was born in East Meadow when three brothers Al, Phil and Frank, from Naples, Italy opened the doors to Borrelli’s Restaurant for the first time. The Borrelli family has been serving the surrounding community and beyond ever since then.
In the early days at Borrelli’s Restaurant the siblings shared roles as pizza makers, cooks, waiters, and everything in between. They utilized their skills and knowledge gained from their previous experience in a Manhattan Italian restaurant, creating recipes, working the kitchen, and running the business end. Initially a 40-seat space that offered limited dishes, they expanded the restaurant in 1962 with room
for 200 along with a full menu. After some years brothers Al and Phil moved on, leaving the restaurant in the hands of Frank Sr.
Frank Borrelli Jr. starting working by his father’s side at the ripe age of 10. He never left, and has loved every minute of it. Now run by Frank Jr., his wife Beth, sister Angela, and their children, the restaurant is still the original Borrelli’s — family owned and operated since the day they served their first guest. Angela handles the back end, caring
for the books, scheduling, and managing the staff, while Beth runs the front end working her magic with the patrons. The sons and daughters all partake in some role, or have at one time or another, as
bartenders and wait staff.
Frank Jr. swears that “love is in the air” at Borrelli’s, as many a couple have set their eyes on each other for the first time within those walls. Frank Jr. and Beth met when she was just 18 working as a waitress at the family establishment, and Frank Sr. also met his future wife in the very same place. Apparently the list goes on from there…
The Borrelli’s goal is and always has been to provide delicious, authentic “Italian food and lasting memories for our new patrons” while “continuing to add to the memories of the many loyal customers who have dined with them over the years.” They have an enormous loyal customer base who comes back again and again, as well as excited newcomers who have heard about the fantastic food and spirited atmosphere.
Probably a big part of the allure of Borrelli’s is the congenial and gracious staff who are genuinely happy to be working there. Frank Jr. says “We never had to put help wanted ads in the paper. We always hire from within. People stay here a long time…and they come back even after they’ve left.”
Beth is there 30 years now, and she fully embraces her position as hostess, meeting and greeting the friendly faces who frequent Borrelli’s. “There is no other place like it,” she explains. “People feel welcome. The food has been consistently great for years, but people also come to have a good time. We make them happy here, and treat them like family.”
For the past 15 years the Borrelli’s have opened their doors to unfortunate families on Christmas Day. By invitation only, guests can enjoy a celebratory feast, toys for the children, and the love and support of those who care. Many people volunteer their time to make this special holiday event possible.
Much of the continued success of Borrelli’s is due to Frank Jr.’s dedication and relentless passion. Beth says of her husband “In all the years I know him he has never once complained about going to work in the restaurant. Not when it’s a double shift or even a triple. He absolutely loves what he does.”
Last year Beth orchestrated the remodeling of the restaurant, and they now have added a space that can accommodate up to 80 guests. The newly renovated Borrelli’s is just a part of the “positive changes they now offer to enhance your dining experience,” and the entire Borrelli family and team expresses their deepest heartfelt gratitude for the continued patronage from the community. Borrelli’s Restaurant has become a family tradition for the proprietors as well as their customers.