After 33 years, Sistina closed its location at 1555 Second Avenue over the weekend, and will reopen in the brownstone space that last housed Crown, at 24 East 81st Street. "I am very sad,’’ says the owner, Giuseppe Bruno. "I opened in 1983 and spent most of my life here.’’ Bruno adds that he was convinced to move the restaurant by one of his longtime customers who owns the brownstone. "The space is beautiful and we are tuning the back into a winter garden,’’ he reveals. "It is breathtaking and you can look on the gardens of neighboring buildings. I will add a lot of art by Donald Baechler.’’
Sistina’s new incarnation will be more casual than the original. "Younger people who came to the restaurant before sometimes felt a little uncomfortable because people were in suits and ties, we had $500 show plates and it was a little bit stiff. Now if you come with beautiful jeans and a blazer, that will be good.’’ Bruno says he will also focus more on lunch at the new spot. "We will have separate lunch and dinner menus, which we didn’t have before. There will be a lot of salads, pasta and grilled items.’’ He plans to open right after Labor Day. Crown closed in April 2015.