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Long Beach’s Nearly 30-Year-Old Italian Restaurant Closes After Landlord Dispute

Russo’s owners cite longstanding problems with the landlord

Russo’s Italian Neighborhood Ristorante & Bar
Russo’s Italian Neighborhood Ristorante & Bar
Sharon G. via Yelp

Long Beach is home to a group of longstanding Italian restaurants, with one closing its doors permanently on November 7. Russo’s Italian Neighborhood Ristorante & Bar opened 30 years ago in Naples, and cited the reason as continuous problems with the landlord.

Owners Jack and Vikki Russo allege their lease was not renewed, and the roof remained in disrepair for 12 years while the landlord refused to fix it. According to the Press Telegram, it’s unknown whether the Russo’s will relocate.

Sicilian-born Jack Russo originally opened Pasta al Dente in 1989. Russo met his wife Vikki in 1993, and together the couple changed the name to Russo’s Neighborhood Ristorante & Bar in 2009. Long Beach’s remaining Italian options with deep roots include the 50-year-old Marri’s Pizza & Pasta, 49-year-old Francelli’s, and Papalucci’s which opened in 1990.

The Russo’s shared a statement on their website:

“To all our friends and loyal customers: After 30 years of proudly serving the Naples community, we regret to inform you that we will be closing our doors for the final time this November 7. Thanks to you all, we are in the midst of some of the best months of sales. However, our landlord, after 12 years of refusing to fix major roof problems, refuses to renew our lease. Thank you so much for all the wonderful years you have allowed us to be a part of your lives. And thanks to our wonderful employees, some of whom have been with us for the entire 30 years.”

Russo’s. 5856 E Naples Plaza, Long Beach, CA

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