Etcetera Etcetera, a beloved Italian restaurant in Hell’s Kitchen, announced it will be closing its doors on October 29 after nearly 20 years in business.
The restaurant, located on W44th Street between 8th and 9th Avenue, has been owned and operated by Daniele Kucera since 2005. In an email and social media post this afternoon, Kucera shared that he made the difficult decision to close Etcetera Etcetera due to his deteriorating health, that has included extended hospital stays.
Known for its cozy atmosphere and menu of Italian favorites like homemade basil spaghetti with crab, grilled steak and burrata, Etcetera Etcetera has been a go-to spot for theatergoers, tourists and local regulars alike.
Kucera expressed his devastation over the closure in an email, saying: “I’ve been at the hospital for a month now. I lost my voice, so I communicate only via email or message. I am devastated to have to close EE, but there is no alternative. The doctors and my husband are taking care of me. I am in good hands. I worked so hard for that place. I am so sad!!”
Daniele arrived in the States from Italy in 1992. After working in the restaurant industry for a number of years, he started Vice Versa restaurant in 1999 with two other partners. In 2005, he decided to go it alone and launched Etcetera Etcetera. Interviewed by Manhattan Sideways in 2014, he recalled that for the first five years, no one came. “I wasn’t on the heavily populated avenues and this part of W44th did not attract the crowds.”
But Daniele continued to cook impeccable food and eventually the word spread. As his reputation grew, people were also beginning to venture farther west. Today, the restaurant is filled with dining enthusiasts, many of whom visit the city and come based on a hotel concierge’s recommendation. There are plenty of regulars, too, who initially came after reading the reviews but now return time and time again. Daniele’s approach to his dining room is to make it feel like a home. He has created a warm ambiance with reds and grays, and he has continued to strive to make it the best it can possibly be every day.
During the pandemic, Kucera and his team helped feed local hospital workers and the homeless while continuing to operate for takeout and delivery.
On hearing news of the impending closure, regular customers shared their feelings. “You changed the neighborhood for all of us… EE was not just an incredible dining spot, but a gathering place for friends— pre- and post-theatre dinner, or just a place to sit and relax with a fabulous glass of Italian red — Love you and thank you,” said Guy Barbarulo on Instagram. While Charles Cox said: “Thanks for countless wonderful evenings with your staff, enjoying incredible food and drink. Your restaurant will be missed but never forgotten. Take care of yourself, my friend. Many hugs!!”
The final day of service will be October 29. In his closure announcement, Kucera thanked customers and staff, writing: “The staff and I would like to give you a huge hug for supporting us throughout these years! We had fun, good food, good drinks and wines, but more than anything we’ve built a community not to be forgotten.”