Pepino’s: Savio Volpe crew have taken over former Nick’s Spaghetti House

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When Nick’s Spaghetti House closed down late last year after over 60 years in the game, there were many tears shed over final plates of pasta. But now comes word the space will have a new lease on life, thanks to the crew behind the wildly popular Savio Volpe, who are opening up Pepino’s–a “spaghetti house”–in that same spot.

“While we are honoured to be here, we can only dream of recreating all that everyone loved about Nick’s,” explains the new Pepino’s team on their website.

Screenshot/Pepino’s Spaghetti House

The team in question is the trio of Paul Grunberg, Mark Perrier, Craig Stanghetta. They reached out to the legendary proprietor’s of Nick’s to get their blessing, and pledge to honour the space in the way they know how: With a new Italian restaurant that pays its respects to its storied past.

“Though we can’t and won’t even try to repeat what Nick’s did so well, we are dedicated to honouring this institution of a family, room and building, and to strive for the spirit of the food that graced those plates for so many years,” they say on the Pepino’s site.

When Savio Volpe opened, Grunberg, Perrier, and Stanghetta essentially re-defined what a “neighbourhood restaurant” could be in Vancouver. It’s always packed, and remains a tough reservation to land, but it also is laid back, and the food consistently crowd-pleasing.

And so the aim is similar for Pepino’s: “Yes, this will still be a classic Spaghetti House: the food will be our take on the cuisine that developed in the Italian immigrant communities during the early part of the 20th century. Old war horse dishes like Spaghetti & Meatballs, Veal Parm, Caesar Salad, Shrimp Scampi, Piccata and all that wonderful stuff that begs to be mopped up with baskets of white bread.”

So basically, a red sauce joint for 2018 and, hopefully, years to come.

To boot, the project has a sibling endeavour–a more casual spot they call a “diminutive alimentari & caffè” named La Tana.

No word yet on Pepino’s opening date yet, however you can follow them on Instagram for updates.

Pepino’s will be located at 631 Commercial Drive.

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Lindsay is the Managing Editor of Vancouver Is Awesome, and the co-host and co-producer of the Vancouver Is Awesome Podcast. A fifth generation Vancouverite and life-long foodie, Lindsay also serves as a judge for the Vancouver Magazine Restaurant Awards. Previously the Food Editor of Daily Hive, Senior Editor of Vancity Buzz, and Editor-in-Chief of LAist.com, in her past life in L.A. she earned an MA in English, attended culinary school, and was an English professor. Lindsay's first published piece was December 1980 in The Province; it was her letter to Santa. E-mail: lindsay@vancouverisawesome.com // Twitter/Instagram: @squashblossom