Criscitelli Family Increases Its Power Grip on Little Italy

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We noted earlier that Sal Anthonys SPQR had closed. Now weve discovered its under the ownership of the Criscitelli family, which owns five other joints on Mulberry Street Pellegrinos, Novello, Il Palazzo, La Nonna, and Giuliani favorite Da Nico. (If the name of the new owners sounds familiar, you may recall that Perry Criscitelli was forced to step down as San Gennaro head when he was said to be a made member of the Bonnano family charges he denied.) Perrys son, Nick, tell us he plans to return the restaurant to the fine dining they had when they originally opened 28 years ago, while keeping the entres around $19. With the reopening a couple of weeks away, a chef has yet to be picked, but a construction crew is already hard at work redoing the walls, ceilings, and lighting. At least one longtime patron was bummed when we broke the news to him: Thats the only restaurant Ive ever eaten at in Little Italy. My family knew the owner, so he gave us better food.