Long-running Bristol restaurant Vincenzo’s to close its doors after 52 years
The site will now be demolished to make way for student flats
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One of Bristol’s oldest family-run restaurants will close at the end of the year.
Vincenzo’s on Park Street has been open 52 years but the owners have lost their battle against plans to demolish the restaurant so developers can build 17 student flats.
The restaurant was opened in 1970 by Vincenzo and Teresa Ricci and run by their children, Isabella, Rafaele and Giuseppe in recent years.
The owners of the popular pizzeria have been in a dispute with developers Urbina since 2019 and had to crowdfund in order to pay for escalating legal fees.
But now the Ricci family have decided to leave the site at the end of the year and are looking for new premises.
Vincenzo’s will close to the public on December 24 in order for the family to vacate the building by January 4.
Isabella said: “Basically, our solicitor said if I went to court and lost, I wouldn’t get anything. It got to a point where there was no other option so we have to move on.
“It’s not nice, but sometimes you have to take it on the chin as there’s not much you can do.”
Isabella says it will be business as usual at the restaurant until December 24 and the family are now looking for a new site to relaunch Vincenzo’s.
“Hopefully we’ll find something before we leave, something might turn up. We want to stay around Park Street or Whiteladies Road.
“So we’re looking for a new home for Vincenzo’s, somewhere we can put our stamp on for another few years.
“I could have fought it but the risk was ending up with nothing at all and even more legal fees, which have eaten up all the money we had.
“It’s the end of an era but hopefully the start of another and if anybody has a restaurant with 50 or more covers, we’d be interested to hear from them.”
Isabella said the three-year battle to stay at the restaurant her parents opened 52 years ago had been ‘draining’ and that she had ‘many sleepless nights’, but she was glad she tried her best to fight the plans.
“I always say you should never give up and I put up a hell of a fight but it gets to a point where you have to back off. It was very draining but it was worth the fight.”
David Pigott of developers Urbina said: “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.”