Restaurants often come and go at a rapid pace, the restaurant and bar business being one of the toughest and most competitive there is. Few establishments last for many decades. Flushing’s Villa Bianca was one of the them.
Real estate records show the beautiful English Tudor house where The Villa Bianca used to be originally was the residence of one Mrs. Bernice Livingston. (Despite the rumors, famed actress Gloria Swanson never lived here. Perhaps the legend added to its charm.)
At the height of the Depression, Livingston transformed the house into Bernice’s Red Gables Restaurant. In time it became just the Red Gables Restaurant.
The next owner, Marco Pescetto, saw even more potential and decided to renovate and turn it into a catering establishment.
But it was Bianca Pinchiaroli who took it to a whole new level and renamed it after herself: “The Villa Bianca.” Opened in 1949, the Villa was famous for smorgasbord luncheons by day and weddings and banquets in the evenings. After the closing of Lum’s Chinese Restaurant, The Villa Bianca became the oldest restaurant on Northern Boulevard. Then in December 1999, Pinchiaroli served her last meal and sold the business to Marcello Caira.
Caira renamed it The Reception House.Now it’s up for for sale again, the listing noting that it’s been a restaurant for decades. With a building size of 10,500 square feet and a lot size of 32,900 feet, its future is uncertain when it is sold to its next owner. Residents are hopeful it will be preserved.