Fans of Bettola ‘Rock and Roll’ Italian – located at 412 Amsterdam Ave, between 79th and 80th Streets – know about their delicious wood oven pizzas, pastas, meats, seafood plates and desserts.
They also know about the restaurant’s colorful atmosphere and rock star chef, Vlado.
But like many Upper West Side restaurants, the owners are struggling to stay in business.
A little background:
20 years ago, Giga – Marianna Leszayova came to the US with $200. She wanted to fulfill her American dream, so she worked very hard to achieve it. After years of working as a waitress, and then a manager, she became an owner of Bettola Restaurant on the Upper West Side, which she invested her entire life savings into.
On March 15th, all restaurants were limited to food take-out and delivery. After closely following coronavirus pandemic updates, Giga decided to temporarily shut down Bettola for the health and safety of her loyal staff, especially her partner Chef Vlado, whose heart condition put him at a much higher level of danger.
But two weeks later, Vlado decided they needed to persist. “I feel horrible, people are putting their lives on the line, we got to go back,” he told Giga.
So on April 15th, Giga and Vlado reopened to serve the community.
They also started cooking and delivering meals to NYC’s first responders: healthcare workers, the NYPD and FDNY. This is what they are doing when they’re not open to the public; Giga and Vlado are doing all the cooking and delivering themselves!
But restaurant owners are taking a huge hit with continued expenses and high commercial rents.
While Giga did apply for a small business loan, the program ran out of funds before she could receive anything.
So today, Giga and Vlado are asking for your help.
They’ve started a fundraiser to help keep Bettola alive. Donations will be used to rehire Bettola’s staff and to give back to the community by making and delivering meals to first responders. “I wish we could do more but we have very limited resources,” says Giga.
You’ll also want to place an order ASAP.
Bettola is currently open for take out and delivery from Wednesday-Sunday between 4:30-8:30pm .
They’re delivering food as well as wine, beer and cocktails.
Here are a few teasers …
Here’s the full menu. For pick up or delivery, please make sure to call them directly! They can be reached at (212) 787-1660!
And lastly, Chef Vlado plans to sing some quarantine-themed songs on Instagram. So you’ll want to follow them to see what that’s all about!