NORFOLK, Va. (WAVY) - For nearly 70 years, Granby Street's Veneziano's has been the place to go for authentic Italian food in Norfolk.
"It's an iconic place in Norfolk, but it's also an iconic place in Hampton Roads. It's the oldest Italian restaurant in Hampton Roads," said Amy Waters Yarsinske, a friend of the Veneziano family.
If you've spent any time in Norfolk, chances are you've driven by Veneziano's Italian Restaurant more than once, but you won't be seeing it much longer.
"When I first got the note on the website, and read it, I almost teared up," said loyal Veneziano's customer Pete Aldridge.
The restaurant announced last week that after decades of service, it will close its doors for good Aug. 25.
"The fact that it won't be here is very very sad to me," Yarsinske said.
Yarsinske has been visiting Veneziano's since she was a child. She said the restaurant was formerly called "The Venice Restaurant," but the name changed in the 1970s.
"They wanted people to come in and feel like they were at home, feel like they had friends here, part of the family, and just feel comfortable when they come in," said Owner Orlando Loiercio.
Loiercio made the decision to close due to a medical reason and the economy. Veneziano's has been In his family for three generations.
"It's very home-style Italian, it's very much like going to New York," Yarsinske said.
Some would say it's like going home.
"The love you get, you just don't find anywhere else....It's like coming to mom's home on Sunday afternoon and eating, there's no other way top put it," said Aldridge.
The only thing that's hard to swallow now is that it will no longer be around.
"People are saying we're really sad to see you go, we wish you wouldn't go, we're gonna miss the lasagna, we're gonna miss the manicotti, what are we gonna do now about soup?" said owner Alisia Payne.
Loyal customers may have to borrow a recipe, but they all will get one last goodbye.
"I really do hope everybody comes in and gives it one more look before it closes its doors," said Yarsinske.
Veneziano's location on Granby Street will be filled by Charlie's – another locally owned restaurant. WAVY.com was told Charlie's plans to keep much of Veneziano's décor.
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