Oct. 20, 2021 By Michael Dorgan
An Italian café is set to open inside a new high-rise apartment building on the Long Island City waterfront.
Santa Chiaro Café will open in December on the ground floor of 52-41 Center Boulevard, a 44-story residential building at Hunters Point South.
It will be the first café owned solely by Cristiano Rossi, an Italian immigrant who lives in Williamsburg with his wife Adriana De Martino from Queens. The couple plan to move to Sunnyside in the coming months.
Santa Chiaro Café will occupy an 850 square foot space inside the near 400-unit structure that has been developed by TF Cornerstone. The building is part of the two-tower TF Cornerstone development on Parcel C of Hunters Point South.
“We are really excited…the views are amazing and the area has a great vibe,” said Rossi, who has previously co-owned two coffee shops in Manhattan.
Rossi, 47, said that the Long Island City waterfront is very attractive and he has always wanted to open a café there.
“I wanted to open a space on Center Boulevard in 2007 but it never materialized,” Rossi said. “Since then I have been traveling back and forth from Italy and now is the perfect time to open.”
The café will focus heavily on contemporary Italian pastries and coffee. For instance, the café will serve baked cornettos, which are a mix between an Italian croissant and a brioche, Rossi said.
It will also offer a wide range of small cakes such as the Amalfi, which is sponge cake filled and glazed with lemon cream, and the Salerno which is made from hazelnut biscuit, ricotta and rum.
Santa Chiaro Café will also serve classic Italian cakes like panettones, pastieras and caprese cakes. The café will also have its own range of gelatos.
Rossi said that Michelin star chefs will be visiting the café from Italy on a rotating basis to make new dessert recipes.
Santa Chiaro Café will also offer small savory meals like egg and antipasti dishes.
For its coffees, the café will use a variety of different coffee beans including a specialty Neapolitan blend, Rossi said.
“Our coffee will be more creamy and chocolaty than other places,” he said.
The café will have a marble counter and the walls will be a mix of wood and tiles imported from Italy.
It will seat 15 people indoors and 20 on the plaza area situated in front of the café. Rossi said he will also construct an outdoor dining area on the roadway which will seat another 20 people.
Opening hours will be from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 9 a.m. to 11 p.m. on Sundays.