Aug. 2, 2022 By Christian Murray
The owners of two successful Italian restaurants in Sunnyside opened a gelato shop in the neighborhood Sunday.
Valerio Marchi, Gina Mastrovito and Manuel Gregorio, who own Sotto Le Stelle Pizzeria and SoleLuna on Queens Boulevard, opened Arcobaleno Gelateria on July 31 at 44-09 Queens Blvd.
The addition represents their third business in Sunnyside, with the trio also part of a team that opened an Italian restaurant in Astoria last year.
Their new gelato store is located next door to Sotto Le Stelle, which offers Neapolitan wood-fired pizzas that they opened in 2015.
“It’s a good addition. There was nowhere to get gelato in Sunnyside until now,” Marchi said, who is a Sunnyside resident and Italian immigrant.
He said that he had been taking his wife and children to Astoria or Brooklyn to get gelato.
The location was also attractive, Marchi said, since it is next to their pizzeria, sharing a backyard. He said residents could get dinner at Sotto Le Stelle and then go next door for dessert.
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Marchi said that they are working on the menu at Arcobaleno, which will not only include gelato but will include coffee, desserts, Frappe (Italian milkshakes with gelato) and more.
The new establishment, which is about 1,000 square feet, offers seating for about 20 people, with three tables in the store and about five in the back. The space had been occupied by a hair salon until earlier this year.
The business is their fourth and Marchi jokes that it is their last, noting how busy it keeps him and his business partners. The partners, all Italians, met years ago while they were working in the Manhattan restaurant scene.
They have come a long way since opening SoleLuna, which opened in 2015 on the northeast corner of Queens Boulevard and 40th Street. The restaurant is known best for its pasta and meat dishes, pastries and espresso.
In 2017, they opened Sotto Le Stelle Pizzeria and in December 2021 opened Sotto La Luna, at a new food and beverage hall known as The World Artisan Market at 34-39 31st St. in Astoria.
Marchi is hopeful that their fourth venue will succeed like the others.
“We love gelato, we love our neighborhood,” Marchi said. “I think we will do well. Many families love gelato.”