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North End restaurant to close doors after more than two decades

Ristorante Fiore will serve its last meals to customers on Christmas Day, 2022.Ristorante Fiore

Ristorante Fiore, a staple of the North End will serve its last bowl of bombolotti and other Italian fare on Christmas Day, the restaurant said.

Owner Fiore Colella, who opened the Hanover Street restaurant in 2000, announced the restaurant’s closing on Facebook.

Tricia Colella, the restaurant’s manager, said the decision to sell the family business was a personal one for her 65-year-old father.

“He’s not closing because of financial struggles,” she said in an interview Wednesday evening. “He’s closing because he can. It’s just time for him to move on and enjoy the next chapter of his life.”

Fiore Colella, who owned the nearby Cantina Italiana before his current restaurant, said on Facebook Tuesday that he’s winding down his more than four-decades career serving diners in the North End.

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“For the past 40+ years, it has truly been my honor to work with our dedicated team to deliver food, beverage, and hospitality to all of you,” he wrote. “Over that time, we have developed relationships and I have seen your families grow.”

“After much thought, I am hanging up my apron and will retire to spend time with my family, my incredible grandchildren, and do some hunting and fishing,” he wrote. “Having the passion to serve all of you has given me much joy for all these years, and now I look forward to the next phase of my life. Thank you so much for your loyalty, business, and friendship.”

The property at 250 Hanover St. was sold to Depasquale Ventures, who will likely redevelop the space into a new restaurant, according to Fiore Collela’s daugher Tricia. Frank Despasquale owns and operates several other eateries in the North End, including Quattro, Bricco Ristorante & Enoteca, and Trattoria Il Panino.

Representatives for Depasquale Ventures could not immediately be reached for comment on Wednesday evening.

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Tricia Colella said that it will be hard to say goodbye.

“It’s becoming very real for me,” she said. “I’ve been doing it over 20 years by my dad’s side, and I’m starting to feel it inside. But, you know, I’m happy for him. And for me, and for the future.”

Many of the regulars at Ristorante Fiore have become family friends over the years, said Tricia Colella.

“It’s going to be really hard not to see those faces all the time, like we do now,” she said. “We have customers that frequent here once a week. We’ve built so many relationships. One of the best things about this restaurant is being so large is that we were able to accommodate so many tourists, so many locals, everyone. That was probably the best part of being here — and the saddest part of leaving.”


Camilo Fonseca can be reached at camilo.fonseca@globe.com. Follow him on Twitter @fonseca_esq.