Many of our customers will already know that The Caprese Restaurant has been living under the threat of closure for 14 years now due to its location in one of the most prestigious shopping streets in the UK, Buchanan Street. Developers have been fighting it out in the highest courts in the land to redevelop that section of Buchanan Street and replace the existing Victorian buildings with a modern structure housing both retail and luxury apartments.
Costanzo has fought a hard battle during these 14 years, determined to fight for his right to remain in his property that he sacrificed so much for over the years. Costanzo took this tiny basement and created a masterpiece, gaining a loyal following in the 25 years that himself and his family have been there. He was a little fish in a big pond, standing up to huge developers and the City Council for what he believed in. He has been highly criticised in the media for standing in the way of the regeneration of the area when in fact he was in complete agreement that the area needed transforming. He fought for his right to remain in his property and be part of the regeneration, to continue on with his family business within the redevelopment but sadly that was not an option for the developers.
So, it with great sadness from all of us at the Caprese Restaurant in Glasgow to tell you that the battle is over. This time next year, the Caprese will be no more than a distant happy memory for all us and where once stood the little Italian restaurant housing the giant character of Costanzo, will be replaced by a giant retail development. There have been many tears shed over this decision both from us and a handful of customers who happened to overhear the goings on yesterday. This was a big decision for Costanzo, one that was not easy for him to make but in the end, it was a decision that had to be made. Costanzo would like to say a big thank you to all of his customers over the last 25 years who have provided support in some difficult times. In these uncertain times, our loyal customers have remained with us always. Customers who have followed Costanzo from his early days running restaurants in Glasgow for other people remained with him for the opening of the Caprese 25 years ago and they are still with us. Costanzo has watched families grow up, small children brought in by their parents have now grown and now bring their own children, marriage proposals, retirements, he has been a part of so many important moments in peoples lives and they have been a part of his. These are memories that you cannot be erased by any bulldozer. These memories will stay with our customers and ourselves always and the Caprese will remain in the hearts of people long after it has gone.
The good news out of all of this is that we will be here until just after Christmas 2010 with exact dates of closure to be announced at a later date. We will be closed as normal for the summer holidays (and this is one holiday that we all deserve) from this coming Saturday 26th June until we open again Monday 2nd August. That gives everyone at least 5 whole months to experience the Caprese before it is no more.
The other good news is that Costanzo will be opening another restaurant next year not too far from where the Caprese stands now. We will keep you all posted on those developments nearer the time but for now we would just like to say thank you to all of our customers, old and new for the constant support and encouragement you have given us over the years. When the bulldozers roll down Buchanan Street and remove that part of our lives forever, we will watch with an aching heart and probably lots of tears but life will go on in another setting with just the same amount of atmosphere and character that the Caprese had, don’t you worry.
Arrivederci Caprese, soon to be gone but never forgotten.