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Iconic Burnaby Italian restaurant closed forever just as COVID-19 restrictions lift

Burnaby's La Villetta has gone out of business

The Burnaby Heights neighbourhood is loaded with Italian restaurants, starting with Baci on the west end of Hastings all the way to Cotto on the east end – with plenty like La Forchetta and Sopra Sotto in between.

It’s a divine array of Italian eateries that mark the history of this proud Burnaby neighbourhood.

But now that list is one restaurant shorter.

La Villetta, an iconic Italian restaurant that graced the corner of Hastings and Ingleton for decades has closed its doors. I’m not sure exactly when it shut down or why. It could be because the owners retired or business had dropped or perhaps they couldn’t come to a lease agreement.

Whatever the reason, it’s a loss to the local culinary scene. I had eaten plenty of great meals at La Villetta, enjoying its wonderful outdoor patio and great service.

It will be missed.

In its place will be Eat for Good Restaurant, which looks to serve Chinese fare.

It’s no surprise that some businesses are closing, based on the numbers being seen in the business world.

Canadian retail sales in April posted their largest drop since the start of the pandemic.

Statistics Canada said recently that retail sales fell 5.7 per cent, the largest decline since April 2020 during the pandemic's first wave. Sales at clothing and clothing accessories stores plunged 28.6 per cent in April, while general merchandise stores dropped 8.1 per cent.

Many restaurants also suffered locally as B.C. shut down indoor dining for a couple of months as COVID-19 cases soared.

Those restrictions had recently been lifted, but too late for some restaurants. Crowds are starting to return – hopefully it’s enough to save other Burnaby restaurants.

Follow Chris Campbell on Twitter @shinebox44.