Pizza stopped: Dublin institution closes after 32 years

Owners say they were refused a new lease, to make way for a new shopping unit

Pizza Stop on Chatham Lane was founded by Germano Terrinoni in the 1980s. Photograph: Pizza Stop

Pizza Stop on Chatham Lane was founded by Germano Terrinoni in the 1980s. Photograph: Pizza Stop

 

One of the oldest pizza restaurants in Dublin city centre has served its last slice and says it is being forced to shut up shop after its landlord refused to renew its lease ahead of major re-development of the area.

Pizza Stop on Chatham Lane off Grafton Street closed its doors for the last time on Sunday night after more than 32 years serving Neapolitan-inspired pizzas to locals and tourists.

As she cleared the restaurant of its fixtures and fittings today, ahead of putting everything into storage, its owner Grace Terrinoni expressed sadness at having to leave the neighbourhood and the restaurant that was first opened by her late husband Germano in the late 1980s

She said the decision to close had been taken out of her hands as she had been unable to renew the restaurant lease.

Instead, Terrinoni says, she was given notice to quit to allow her old school pizza joint - which has become part of the fabric of Dublin’s city centre - to be replaced by a new shopping unit.

Pizza Stop was set up across the road from the Westbury Hotel by Germano Terrinoni in the late 1980s with Grace joining him in the business three years after he served his first slice.

It quickly became famous for its cheap and cheerful Italian food, most notably its pizzas with their thin and crispy bases and toppings that had their roots in the southern Italian city of Naples.

For decades it has been hugely popular among both locals and tourists and has stood standing through bright boom times and deep, dark recessions.

“We have seen other places come and go and for a long time we have been a huge presence in the area. We have kept serving through good times and bad times and seen our ups and downs but business is still good,” Terrinoni says. “People still want what we have been serving”.

Since her husband died three years ago, she and her children had continued to run the business.

“We had our final service last night and it was full of regulars and former staff, it was very bittersweet,” she says. “It is also bad news for many of our suppliers, some of whom we have been doing business with for more than 30 years.”

She says she is looking for a new premises. “But for now we are just emptying the restaurant and putting everything into storage.”

Terrinoni told The Irish Times that she is actively looking for a fresh start but said landlords have been looking for “crazy money” for premises.

“It really is back to the silly times it seems,” she said. “We don’t need a big place to re-open, Germano started small and added to the restaurant through the years. We are open to different locations so hopefully we will be able to find something soon.”