The New York City situation and the food community
The city that never sleeps finally found its rest in 2020. As countless videos circulate the web, the once bustling streets of Manhattan and it is surrounding New York boroughs lied dormant for most of 2020. But not for Rocco Sacramone, owner, and chef of Trattoria L’incontro in the Astoria borough just outside of Manhattan, the food community came to his rescue.
With the city in the pandemic stalemate, countless businesses and enterprises in the food community are experiencing turmoil. In an August article written by James Altucher in the New York Post, the situation is that: “Midtown Manhattan, the center of business in NYC, is empty. Even though people can go back to work, famous office buildings like the Time Life skyscraper are till 90% empty.”
As you can imagine this is hurting businesses and running them out of New York. Countless restaurants, clothing stores and retailers once filled with thousands of paying customers, left at the mercy of the pandemic.
The Viral Video and the the Reach to the Food Community
This is where Rocco Sacramone and his restaurant L’incontro located in New York come in. On December 16th of 2020, Rocco posted on his businesses Instagram @trattoria_lincontro a heartwarming video of his employees and himself enjoying a moment together eating curb side and welcoming the first snowfall in the streets of Astoria. The video garnered a lot of attention being posted to various media outlets like channel 2 and countless others.
Most importantly, this video reached David Portnoy, Barstool Sports’ journalist who operates, One Bite Pizza Reviews. He managed to raise 100k in effort to keep the restaurants doors open. Being an iconic internet food reviewer, he is doing all he can to save the businesses he loves.
In an interview posted to YouTube by One Bite Pizza Reviews, Sacramone and Portnoy share a meal together much like in the original December 16th Instagram post drinking wine, laughing, and greeting curious pedestrians as they walk by.
When Portnoy asks how business is going, Sacramone in a serious tone claims that his business is down at least 70%. He exclaims: “ The December holidays is usually what kept business going for the next couple months, but now we have no December.” Despite the dire straits, Rocco’s infectious personality and charming Italian gusto kept the tone and mood of the video in high spirits while he proudly displayed his amazing Italian cuisine.
Barstool sports launched a campaign to raise money for the struggling businesses that needed the help. The community responded and as FOX5 claims, raised over $16 million dollars. L’incontro was one of the many who received 100k in funding to keep it doors open to keep serving the community its delicious Italian meals.
About L’incontro and the Resolve
Sacramone’s original video exuded resilience in desperate times, not only for himself as a restaurant owner but for his loyal staff. He employed more than 40 people once, now left with only a meager 4 who operate the restaurant for delivery. Sacramone, according to his website, has owned the business since 1999 and was in the culinary business even before opening his darling, L’incontro. As a successful restaurateur, Sacramone has been in the game for a while, but even for the knowledgeable “there is no game plan” he claims. Only time can tell the fate for the restaurant business in one of the busiest places on earth.
The restaurant is still operational, and people can request items on the menu for takeout and delivery. If you are ever in the mood for amazing Italian food and you live in the area, L’incontro would be a great business to support.