A conversation with the gatekeeper of Bamonte’s Restaurant

Dec 18, 2019 250

BY: Abigail Napp

On a quiet residential street of Williamsburg, Brooklyn, Bamonte’s Italian restaurant celebrates 118 years and four generations of seamless family transition.  Bamonte’s phone rings non-stop. Most Friday afternoons, the restaurant refuses reservations for the weekend. Its 25 tables are filled, thanks in part to John “Bamonte.” He allows this journalist to ask him questions over the next two hours while he writes down names in a leather-bound reservations book.

Despite claiming the last name of the restaurant, John is not a Bamonte by blood. He was married into the family for 25 years, took many trips to Southern Italy, then divorced, but stayed on, accumulating 53 years of service as barman and now gatekeeper. He says (with a beautiful Brooklynese accent) that business was good even before The Sopranos was filmed on-site.

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SOURCE: https://www.lavocedinewyork.com

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