After 30 years of serving, Naples restaurant Russo’s to close due to lack of agreement with landlord

In what is becoming a common tale, one likely to be repeated for similar reasons in the future, the owners of Italian restaurant Russo’s will close up shop after 30 years after struggling to negotiate a new lease with their landlord.

First reported by the Press-Telegram, the restaurant’s owners, Jack and Vikki Russo, made the announcement via their website. It read:

“To all our friends and loyal customers: After 30 years of proudly serving the Naples community, we regret to inform you that we will be closing our doors for the final time this November 7. Thanks to you all, we are in the midst of some of the best months of sales. However, our landlord, after 12 years of refusing to fix major roof problems, refuses to renew our lease.

“Thank you so much for all the wonderful years you have allowed us to be a part of your lives. And thanks to our wonderful employees, some of whom have been with us for the entire 30 years.”

Originally opening under the moniker of Pasta al Dente in 1989 and later renamed Russo’s, the Italian-American restaurant often paid homage to Jack’s family history based in Sicily. Classic dishes like cioppino—a seafood stew whose roots are based in Southern Italy and Sicily—and pasta di mare were of the rarity when Russo’s first opened, garnering a devout local crowd that kept the restaurant in business for three decades.

While we are still awaiting comment back from the Russos, it remains unclear if they plan on reopening elsewhere or are moving onto other endeavors.

This marks the third restaurant closure this month alone: Spot Cafe in Belmont Shore closed due to rising rents and Seoulmate announced their closure earlier this week. And this past July, another neighborhood staple, E.J. Malloy’s in Belmont Heights, closed its flagship location after thirty years of business.

Brian Addison is a columnist and editor for the Long Beach Post. Reach him at [email protected] or on social media at Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and LinkedIn.

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