By Katie McFadden
What better way to honor a beloved chef, than to open a restaurant in her name, in her hometown. That’s precisely what the family of the late Adrienne Guttieri is setting out to do. Taking over the old Bayview Grille in Broad Channel, Adrienne’s will open this summer.
At 33 years old, Adrienne Guttieri’s future was bright. The young chef had been in the hospitality business for more than 10 years. According to her brother, Frank Guttieri, she was at the peak of perfecting her skills. “The esteemed pastry chef Christina Tosi said the first 10 years of a chef’s career is spent in NYC basements honing their craft,” he said. “I believe Adrienne was at the end of that 10-year run and that the next 10 were going to be special.”
The Broad Channel native had spent a short time at SUNY Cobleskill before realizing the direction she wanted to take her life. Adrienne wanted to cook. She took that dream to the International Culinary Center, specializing in Italian Cuisine. With her father’s family coming from the Amalfi coast of Italy, sauce ran through her blood, and she went to the experts to learn more. Guttieri spent some time at a culinary school in Italy, and upon returning to the U.S., she landed her first gig at an Italian restaurant—Inatteso Pizzabar in Battery Park. She spent almost three years there before joining her cousin, Chris Keegan, in the In Good Company Hospitality (IGC) family, working as a sous chef at their Park Avenue Tavern. And then she moved through the ranks at various IGC establishments in Manhattan—a sous chef at Parker & Quinn, executive chef at Trademark for seven years and most recently, executive chef at The Wilson. “She was running the show there,” Keegan said.
On August 7, 2022, Adrienne’s flame went out unexpectedly. The rising culinary star died suddenly, sending her family, friends and the Broad Channel and IGC communities into mourning. Reaching highs in her culinary career and with unfinished business ahead, Adrienne’s life and dreams were cut short. But they did not die with her. “Since the day that we lost my sister, something that’s weighed heavily on my mind every day has been her legacy,” Frank Guttieri said in a Facebook post on Saturday, March 11. “Robbed of that future, I was determined to open a restaurant in her honor. For the countless hours she spent grinding and honing her craft, nothing but the same seemed worthwhile of my time and energy. With that being said, for the remainder of my own life, Adrienne’s restaurant will stand in Broad Channel.”
Shining some light on a sad situation, the Guttieri family announced that they have purchased the Bayview Grille at 25 Van Brunt Road, bringing new life to the bayfront building shuttered since 2016, but in Adrienne’s name. With the purchase from Anthony Martelli, the building has come back to the Guttieri family. “My parents owned the Bayview going back to previous iterations. It’s been a family establishment since 1991 and I had my eyes on it since 1998,” Frank Guttieri said. Now back in the family, the new restaurant, Adrienne’s, will be overseen by Frank, Chris Keegan, Leo Chavanne, Jessica Guttieri and Joseph Hanning. “It’s a big Broad Channel family behind this,” Guttieri said.
While they may have taken over the Bayview, the team says Broad Channel can expect a completely different concept from the casual reputation of the restaurant’s past. “We’re trying to do something that’s never been done before here,” Keegan said. As her namesake, the new restaurant is being crafted completely in Adrienne’s vision, or at least, from what her closest family and friends know about her. And since Italian food was her specialty, it’ll be the cuisine of choice and theme of Adrienne’s. “We’re gonna transform this place into a southern Italian vibe. We’re not serving chicken fingers and fries in a basket on the deck here. We’re talking elevated dishes. It’ll be totally different from Bungalow Bar and The Wharf. This won’t be a place where you walk up in flip flops. We’re going for an elevated southern Italian restaurant,” Keegan explained.
After all, it’s what Adrienne would have wanted. “We reached out to her really good friend, Jenna. Adrienne was supposed to be in her wedding party, so we’re building out the whole brand and design based on what she knew Adrienne wanted,” Keegan said. “Adrienne was a powerful woman in the kitchen. She was well respected, and her goal was to open a kitchen with all women. That might be hard for us to do, but Jenna is helping us with the branding and another one of her friends is building out the cocktail menu.” Guttieri added, “It might not be an all women staff, but we’re going to make it women centric. It might skew feminine in the design and cocktail menu, and we have hopes of hiring a female chef.”
And in making Adrienne’s, Adrienne’s, some of the people who worked closest with Adrienne, like Chris, who worked alongside her as manager of several IGC establishments, will be joining the staff. “Everyone involved in this has some sort of personal or professional ties to Adrienne. We worked every day together at Trademark for three years, and we had a special team of food runners and bussers and other people that could tell the story of this place,” Keegan said. “For instance, a food runner from the Bronx that worked for Adrienne for two years said he’s going to come to Broad Channel for this place, and it’s those things that will make this place really special.”
“There’s going to be elements of Adrienne that maybe not everyone in Broad Channel or Queens will get, like inside jokes, but in doing this, everything in the back of my mind is, would Adrienne like that? We’re trying to make this somewhat of a dream place that she would have produced,” Guttieri said.
As they just got the keys last week, it will take a while for the team to transform the nautical grille into a southern Italian destination restaurant, but they have their eyes set on a summer 2023 opening, just in time to make good use of the building’s bayside dock for boats to pull up to and the large deck for everyone to enjoy while sipping on a frozen cocktail and saying cheers to the inspiration behind it all—Adrienne.