A family-run restaurant that’s been serving hungry customers for some 52 years will close for good at the end of the year. Vincenzo’s in Park Street will be demolished and turned into student flats, despite battling for years to stay open.
Owners Vincenzo and Teresa Ricci opened the restaurant in 1970 and more recently it has been by their children Isabella, Rafaele and Giuseppe. The family have been in a lengthy dispute with developers Urbina since 2019 and even had to crowdfund to pay for escalating legal fees, with Isabella telling Bristol Live in August that she has suffered “sleepness nights” trying to save the beloved pizzeria.
But now the Ricci family have decided to leave the site at the end of the year and are, instead, looking for new premises. Vincenzo’s will close to the public on December 24 and the family will have until January 4 to leave the building completely for good.
Read more: The Bristol pubs and restaurants that have closed their doors for good this year
Isabella said: “Basically, the solicitors suggested that if we went to court and we lost, we wouldn’t get anything at all and that basically would have meant bankruptcy if I didn’t do it this way. If it had gone to court and I’d lost the case, then I would have had nothing at all.
“At least this way, I’ve got a possibility of reopening Vincenzo’s somewhere else.” When it came to the support Isabella and her family have received from the people of Bristol during their battle to keep Vincenzo’s open, Isabella said: “We’re absolutely grateful for everything they’ve done and hope they will carry on supporting us when we do find a new location.”
Isabella said that the decision to find somewhere new to relaunch Vincenzo’s has been “bittersweet”, adding: “But unfortunately these are some things that you have to take and do the best you can with.
“It was a very tough battle and we battled until we could but, obviously at some point you’ve got to make a decision and hopefully it’s the right one.” Isabella hopes that the people of Bristol can help locate a new premises for Vincenzo’s, preferably in a central location.
Until then, it will be business as usual at the restaurant, which will be taking bookings and welcoming diners until it closes in December.
In 2019, when news first broke of plans to close Vincenzo’s, Bristol Live readers shared their thoughts on social media. The article received hundred of comments, most of which were shocked and saddened to hear of the fate of the beloved restaurant, calling it “part of the life blood of Bristol”.
David Pigott of developers Urbina said of the latest news: “We are very pleased to have reached a mutually acceptable agreement with Vincenzo’s. We wish them success in their new premises, when they find a suitable location. Urbina Park Street can now progress with the redevelopment of the building in early 2023, with completion expected for the summer of 2024.”
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