A friend tipped us off that La Fornaretta on Raymond in Old Town Pasadena was shuttered recently, noting the paper on the door. Apparently the Church of Scientology bought the historic Braley Building last year and took over leases for both restaurants (the other was Moji's Cafe). In August, La Fornaretta owner Peter DiLorenzo told the Pasadena Weekly that he tried to hold onto his 22-year lease:
“I’m a businessman and what I’m trying to say is, I’d love to stay here unless I can find another location close to here that has similar square footage and a parking facility that’s similar,” DiLorenzo explained. “We’re also expanding to add a 4,500-square foot downstairs area. They wrote me a registered letter saying I couldn’t seat any people in the building’s central courtyard area anymore. They play tough cards, but I have an ace in my sleeve.DiLorenzo told us that the new owners made him "an offer he couldn't refuse," and after 10 years in that location, he finally closed in October. He's since moved to Sacramento, but looking to open a new La Fornaretta in Pasadena or South Pas soon.
On a side note: Across the alley at Lucky Baldwin's, a bartender said it's no big deal that Scientologists are moving in—they're probably the last people looking for a pint. He's forgetting about Becks and Posh. This could be the perfect location for the dynamic British duo: English pints, Scientology learning center,
and it's close to Galaxy home games (CORRECTION: The Galaxy doesn't play in Pas anymore. If we knew anything about soccer, or the Galaxy, we guess we would've known that).
· Stress test [Pasadena Weekly]