West End pizza place closing after more than four decades

WINNIPEG — A classic West End restaurant is closing its doors after more than four decades serving Winnipeggers Italian cuisine and long-lasting memories – from first dates to wedding rehearsals.

Over the weekend, Casa Grande Pizzeria owners Frank and Tony announced they would be closing as of Oct. 25.

“It is with heavy hearts that Frank, Tony and staff announce the closing of Casa Grande,” the owners said in a post on Facebook.

They invited Winnipeggers to come down and enjoy one more meal and reminisce.

Casa Grande Pizzeria

(Source: Scott Andersson/ CTV News Winnipeg)

The Italian restaurant on the corner of Sargent Avenue and Wall Street was started in 1977 by Concetta Grande, and her two sons Frank and Tony, according to the Casa Grande restaurant website.

It has been a staple in the neighbourhood for close to 45 years – serving Italian cuisine by candlelight on the classic red plaid tablecloths.

The building was listed for sale about one year ago. Realtor Frank Zappia, who handled the sale, said he grew up down the street from Casa Grande and remembers going there many times.

“It is a pretty rough time for a lot of people that grew up with the place. I know there are a lot of people that still go there that have been going there for years,” he said.

“It is a sad day. We know that things move on, but at the same time it is always sad to see a staple in the neighbourhood leave.”

Zappia said Casa Grande has one of the best pizzas in town.

But over the years, the restaurant has left many visitors with more than a full stomach.

In the days since Casa Grande has announced its closure, many have started posting their memories from the pizzeria.

Casa Grande Pizzeria

(Source: Scott Andersson/ CTV News Winnipeg)

“You were our first date 28 years ago, you helped us create amazing memories with our children and family,” one Facebook user commented. “We send our heartfelt thank you for the memories, the great food, and for feeling apart of the Casa family.”

One person shared their memories of their wedding rehearsal they decided to hold at the restaurant after tasting the food.

“The west end won’t be the same without you,” another user posted. “Thanks for all the wonderful times.”

The owners of Casa Grande told CTV News the closure is partially due to health reasons.

Zappia said the building’s new owners take possession next week. He said there are no plans for another pizzeria or restaurant to go in the space.

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