Legendary Vancouver Chef Announces Flagship Restaurant “Temporarily” Closing

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Umberto Menghi announced on Tuesday that he is temporarily closing his flagship Vancouver restaurant, Giardino.

Legendary Vancouver chef and restaurateur Umberto Menghi announced Tuesday that he is temporarily closing his Vancouver flagship restaurant, Giardino.The closure is effective immediately.

In a heartfelt letter shared on the restaurant’s website and social media, Menghi says, “This decision was not taken lightly, but was taken in order to protect our valued customers and staff.

Menghi adds that given the current restrictions on the capacity and size of the group, as well as distancing warrants due to public health orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, it is difficult to provide the high level of hospitality expected from Giardino.

“We found this to be a significant adjustment with, above all, maintaining the social distance between staff and clients and between clients. We will always offer impeccable service in a warm and welcoming environment and at the moment we are not able to provide the same service and environment on which Giardino was built, ”says Menghi.

However, Menghi says it’s not the end for Giardino – his latest restaurant in British Columbia.

“We hope to reopen again under different circumstances,” says the acclaimed chef.

Umberto Menghi in 2015. Archive photo by Dan Toulgoet

Giardino, in its current version, opened in 2015. The spacious Tuscan-inspired restaurant in Hornby has become the new home of Il Giardino, who had been for so long the heritage restaurant ‘little yellow house’ in proximity.

Menghi also operated Il Caminetto and Trattoria di Umberto in Whistler; Il Caminetto is now a Toptable Group restaurant (Elisa, Black & Blue, CinCin) and, late last year, Menghi sold Trattoria to Vancouver owner Joe Fortes.

Here is Menghi’s statement in full on Giardino’s temporary shutdown:

I regret to inform you that I made the very difficult decision to temporarily close Giardino.

This decision was not taken lightly, but was taken in order to protect our valued customers and staff.

Under the current circumstances, it has been difficult to operate in a place where people have gathered and socialized for many decades. Giardino is a place where everyone feels welcome and where you will always see a familiar face. We found this to be quite an adjustment with, above all, maintaining the social distance between staff and clients and between clients. We will always offer impeccable service in a warm and welcoming environment and, at the moment, we are not able to offer the same service and environment on which Giardino was built.

We hope to reopen again under different circumstances. My sincere apologies for this sudden decision. Hope to see you all again in the future.

Regards,
Umberto Menghi

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