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Up next: Vincenzo's Terrazza (West Covina, CA)
Vincenzo’s Terrazza’s decor transports you to the warm and inviting Amalfi coast. There are several daily specials that change each day, offering a variety of diverse dinner options and a fine selection of region Italian wines and California favorites.
Vincenzo's Terrazza opened in 2012 and was the second restaurant my father, Vincenzo, opened. My father came here from Naples, Italy with about $500 in his pocket. He worked hard, loved the restaurant business, and meeting new people. So much so that he was recognized by American Express as one of their "Waiter of the Year" award recipients. And through continued hard work and dedication, was able to open our families first restaurant here in the San Gabriel Valley in 1993, and ran it for over 18 years! Unfortunately he passed two weeks before we were suppose to open at our current (and only) location. My mother (Kathleen) and myself made the decision to still open and keep his legacy alive, even knowing how hard this business can be. And for 7 years things were great, with the continued support of locals and consistency of great food and service, Vincenzo's Terrazza was a successful business. Even winning small business of the year in 2016, being featured on a cooking special on KCAL 9 Channel news, featured by food critics in magazines and local news outlets, all things know my dad would be proud of.
But when 2020 came, so did the restrictions on businesses, especially those in the hospitality field such as restaurants. We adjusted to all the guidelines, and safety measures made by the Health Department. When only outdoor dining was allowed, we did all we could to make sure our guests were comfortable, from putting up a large 400 sq.ft. tent in our parking lot to protect our guests from the summer heat and winter rain, to having multiple outdoor heaters (that cost $120 daily to fill with propane). But now Los Angeles County is not even allowing outdoor dining. Take out only! Which looks to be the final nail in the coffin of our business, without your help. We cannot survive on take out only. We've noticed that with a takeout only mandate in effect, our sales dropped anywhere from 40-50% a month. I have been in this business my whole life, and my family knows what it takes to successfully run a restaurant. But being told how to run your business, especially when you have signed contracts (have personal guarantee agreements) and put personal savings into the business; just to last a little longer, so your staff can take a paycheck (and myself or my mom don't take a paycheck), it's not right… at all. And to top it off, we are in need of a new freezer and oven (how else can we cook our pizza Dave?!?)
We love our staff and try our best to give them as many hours as we can because for most, this is their only current job and income they have to support their families. Our head chef recently returned from treatment and surgery following ovarian cancer. She is a single mother and all of our staff stepped up while she needed to recover, just like friends and family would. Whether it was doing dishes, cooking, taking orders, we all did what we could to make the business survived. We keep holding onto hope that L.A. County will allow at least outdoor dining again, but with the rise in COVID cases, our optimism dwindles. We love our staff, our community, and our business. Our customers, who have supported us in every way they can this past year, would be devesated to loose our business. We have built very close relationships with our customer base and the city. In the past we have supported and sponsered local high school sports teams, churches, hospitals, and provided food services for local events in the past. Losing this restaurant, a treasured and local favorite, and being thrown into the statistic of business taken by COVID/government restrictions would be a shame and detriment to this small city and community.