Is Agata and Valentina closing?

There have been rumors circulating recently that the beloved Italian restaurant Agata and Valentina on the Upper West Side of Manhattan may be closing down after over 30 years in business. This charming neighborhood joint, known for its homemade pastas, delicious risottos, and cozy ambiance, has become a staple for Upper West Siders over the decades. Naturally, the mere suggestion that it could potentially shut its doors has caused distress among its many loyal patrons. In this article, we will investigate the validity of these rumors and try to get to the bottom of the question—is Agata and Valentina closing?

Background on Agata and Valentina

Agata and Valentina first opened in 1990 on Columbus Avenue between 80th and 81st Streets. The owners, Agata Pariante and Valentina Sainato, immigrated from Southern Italy and brought their family recipes along with them to share with New Yorkers. The homey trattoria quickly developed a following in the neighborhood for its authentic dishes, friendly service, and cozy ambiance. Its popularity steadily grew over the years through word-of-mouth recommendations and reviews. The restaurant eventually expanded into an adjacent space to accommodate more guests. However, it maintained its quaint, old-school charm. Agata and Valentina became a reliable fixture on the UWS food scene.

Where Did the Closing Rumors Originate?

In early October 2022, rumors began circulating on Upper West Side social media groups and food blogs that Agata and Valentina was potentially closing. Some neighborhood residents who walked by noticed brown paper covering the windows, sparking concern. The restaurant’s phone line was temporarily disconnected without explanation, further fueling speculation. However, concrete details remained scarce and the owners did not release any statement on the situation.

Many distressed patrons took to the internet to get to the bottom of the rumors. On October 12, 2022, one Facebook user wrote in the Upper West Side Neighbors group, “Does anyone know if Agata and Valentina is closing for good? I walked by and saw the windows boarded up. Please tell me another neighborhood favorite isn’t shutting down!” This post received an outpouring of comments from worried regulars hoping it wasn’t true.

Reasons for Potential Closure

If the rumors prove to be true, there are a few possible reasons why Agata and Valentina may be closing after over three decades in business:

  • The owners are retiring – Agata and Valentina have been running their namesake restaurant for over 30 years. They may be ready to retire and close up shop.
  • Lease issues – Rents have risen dramatically on the Upper West Side in recent years. The restaurant may be struggling to afford the high lease payments.
  • Staffing struggles – Like many restaurants, Agata and Valentina may be having difficulty hiring enough staff recently. Labor shortages could be making operations untenable.
  • Supply chain issues – Sourcing food, beverages, and other restaurant supplies has become more challenging and costly during the pandemic. This could be negatively impacting profitability.
  • Loss of business during the pandemic – COVID restrictions severely impacted the restaurant industry in NYC. The extended closures and capacity limits may have financially devastated the business.

Any combination of those factors could contribute to the potential closure.

Attempts to Get Clarification

Since the owners remained silent after the rumors first emerged, patrons have been trying desperately to get information through other methods besides speculation. Some individuals claiming to be acquaintances of the family have shared updates on community forums alleging issues like a family health emergency. One regular even reported trying to peek inside through a crack in the brown paper and spotting construction crews gutting the space.

Many concerned New Yorkers have resorted to attempting to call the restaurant repeatedly in hopes of reaching an employee who can provide answers. However, the temporary disconnect notice continues. Neighbors have also been knocking on the front door and peering through the windows for any signs of activity. Unfortunately, the paper coverings make it impossible to see inside clearly.

Other curious individuals have called up neighboring businesses to ask if they know anything about the situation next door. But they have been unable to confirm or deny whether Agata and Valentina is closing down for good. The credibility of rumors continues to remain questionable without concrete proof.

Impact on the Community If Closure Confirmed

If Agata and Valentina does end up shuttering after over three decades of business, the impact on the community would be immense. The restaurant has become deeply ingrained in the fabric of the Upper West Side. Generations of families have been dining there since the 1990s. Many neighborhood residents have countless cherished memories that took place there over birthdays, anniversaries, and other special occasions. For locals, eating at Agata and Valentina feels like visiting family rather than just a restaurant.

Beyond the sentimental value, the closure would remove one of the most beloved and well-reviewed Italian restaurants on the Upper West Side. There are certainly other Italian eateries in the neighborhood. However, Agata and Valentina has stood out as an institution known for its cozy atmosphere, stellar service, and scratch-made meals. For many, nothing can quite replace their signature dishes like Gram’s Lasagna, Pollo Valentina, and Warm Nutella Calzone.

The loss would certainly leave a major hole in the UWS food scene. Patrons would have to find a new go-to spot for comfort food and special occasions. The restaurant’s longstanding staff, including beloved servers and bartenders, would also suddenly find themselves unemployed. Overall, the community would deeply feel the absence of a cherished fixture.

Attempting to Save a Neighborhood Gem

Given what this restaurant means to the history, culture, and community of the Upper West Side, concerned patrons are proactively attempting to save this neighborhood gem if the worst rumors prove true. Loyal regulars have been reaching out to local elected officials and neighborhood groups to make them aware of the situation. They are hoping these organizations may be able to intervene or provide support in some manner.

Online petitions have also started through platforms like One petition called “Save Agata & Valentina” states: “We cannot let a restaurant with 31 years of history in the Upper West Side just disappear.” So far it has received nearly 500 online signatures. Many signees left comments about wanting to stop the closure any way they can for the sake of loyal employees and preserving neighborhood traditions.

Others have pledged that if Agata and Valentina does shut down temporarily, they will eagerly await its reopening and rush back to patronize the business to help them recover financially. However, the most meaningful way to support them currently is to dine at the restaurant if it does indeed remain open. Neighbors recommend visiting frequently and spending generously to keep this cherished gem in business, whether or not the owners confirm closure rumors.

The Waiting Game

Until the owners issue an official statement or emerge from their silence, anxious patrons will continue playing the waiting game to see what unfolds. The mere possibility of losing Agata and Valentina has certainly mobilized a community effort to save it. But supporters feel powerless to intervene until there is concrete confirmation around the restaurant’s future.

For now, they continue to hold out hope that the rumors are untrue or exaggerated. Perhaps the brown paper in the windows and disconnected phone line signify renovations or a temporary closure, not gone for good. Maybe the internet chatter is unreliable gossip rather than cold hard facts. These optimistic locals choose to believe in a positive outcome until they hear otherwise directly from management.

They cling to the possibility that the next time they walk down Columbus Avenue past Agata and Valentina’s familiar green awning, the interior lights will be on, welcoming them inside for a plate of lasagna, just like old times. Only time will tell whether Upper West Siders will find resolution to the burning question—is an iconic neighborhood staple closing down after over three decades of serving generations of patrons? For now, they will keep waiting, worrying, and hoping for the best.


The potential closure of beloved Upper West Side restaurant Agata and Valentina has created great distress and uncertainty among loyal patrons. Conflicting internet rumors without concrete details from ownership have left the neighborhood on edge. While some locals take action to save the business, most feel helpless but hopeful as they anxiously await official word on whether this institution is gone for good or not. Until an announcement emerges, supporters cling to optimism that the situation is temporary and that they will be dining on delicious Italian comfort food at Agata and Valentina for years to come. This quandary highlights just how deeply this unassuming but treasured establishment has impacted the community.

Year Key Events
1990 Agata and Valentina opens on Columbus Avenue on the Upper West Side
Early October 2022 Rumors about potential closure begin circulating online
Mid October 2022 Brown paper seen covering windows, phone line disconnected
Late October 2022 Online petitions and community efforts launch to try to save restaurant
Ongoing No official confirmation from owners yet as neighborhood anxiously awaits news

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