‘Mr. Sal,’ founded Matteo’s restaurants

Salvatore Sorrentino, dies at 86, at home in Howard Beach

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He was affectionately known as “Mr. Sal” for the past 25 years, the last dozen of which he spent in Boca Raton, Fla.

Salvatore Sorrentino, a former clothing factory owner in the East New York section of Brooklyn, was most famous for the Matteo’s group of Italian-style restaurants he first established in Hewlett in 1990.

Sorrentino died of lung cancer at the family home in Howard Beach, Queens on Sept. 15. He was 86.

Born in Naples, Italy, he came to the United States when he was 21. Sorrentino lived in Ozone Park, Queens, then for many years in Howard Beach. There were nine Matteo’s in all on Long Island, in Queens and Florida. The food was considered high quality and served at moderate prices. The small chain was sold to the Sbarro family in 2009.

His charm, grace, humor and sarcasm will be remembered by his family and many of his past restaurant patrons, family members said.

He is survived by his son, Matthew, and eight grandchildren. Sorrentino’s wife, Angelina, and another son, Andrew, predeceased him.

Services were at St. Frances de Chantal R.C. Church in Wantagh on Sept. 19. Burial was at St. Charles Cemetery in East Farmingdale.