After 63 years of serving generations of diners affordable Italian fare, has closed its doors for good.
"It was just time for us to close. It was a great run," second-generation owner John Banchero Jr. said Wedneday.
On Wednesday afternoon, phones continued to ring off the hook as former customers called in asking for updates on the restaurant located at 20102 Mission Blvd. in Hayward's unincorporated Cherryland.
"I expected a reaction but not this much. It's heartfelt and appreciated," Banchero said.
The restuarant, which employed 33 staff members including some family Banchero's, closed on Monday, June 4. Banchero said he came to make this difficult decision due to several factors including the downturned economy and working countless seven-day work weeks at the restaurant.
"I've never had a job (other than this one)," Banchero said. "I've never had the time to look for one."
However, he isn't planning on sending resume's out soon after. Banchero said he plans to retire and enjoy spending more time with family, including his wife of 31 years.
Originally opened by his father, John Banchero Sr., in 1948, John recalls working at the establishment at the young age of 13 — starting from the kitchen and working his way up to become owner.
The restaurant has had a longtime following of families in the area. During its 50th anniversary celebration, Banchero said a family made up of six generations dinned in and took up two large booths — one of the largest groups made up of the most generations eating in at once.
"I'll never forget that," he said. "I owe a great deal of gratitude to all our faithful families."
To learn more about Banchero's Italian Dinners' history, visit its website at http://bancherositaliandinners.com/our_history.html.
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