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UPDATE: Iconic Vancouver restaurant reveals re-opening dates after temporary closure

Giardino has set re-opening dates for lunch and dinner service at the Tuscan-inspired downtown restaurant.
giardino-interior
Inside Giardino. File photo

Great news for fans of legendary Vancouver chef and restaurateur Umberto Menghi and his flagship Vancouver restaurant, Giardino.

After announcing a temporary closure effective immediately in late September, the restaurant's website now indicates that service is set to resume in early November. 

Dinner service will resume on Tuesday, Nov. 3, and be offered Monday through Saturday, while lunch service will begin again on Monday, Nov. 16 and be available Monday through Friday.

In a heartfelt letter shared to the restaurant's website and social media in Sept., Menghi said of the move to close temporarily: "This decision was not made lightly, but was made in order to protect our valued customers and staff."

Menghi added that under current restrictions on capacity and group size, as well as distancing mandates due to the public health orders aimed at curbing the spread of COVID-19, it is challenging to provide Giardino's expected high standard of hospitality.

"We have found it to be quite an adjustment with, most importantly, maintaining social distancing between staff and customers and between customers alike. We will always give impeccable service in a warm, inviting environment and at this time we are unable to give the same service and environment that Giardino has been built on," says Menghi.

However, Menghi did say that the temporary closure would not be the end for Giardino - his last remaining B.C. restaurant. 

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

umberto-menghi-giardinoUmberto Menghi in 2015. File photo by Dan Toulgoet

Giardino, in its current iteration, opened in 2015. The spacious Tuscan-inspired restaurant on Hornby became the new home of Il Giardino, which was the restaurant inside the heritage "little yellow house" nearby for so long. 

Menghi also used to operate Il Caminetto and Trattoria di Umberto in Whistler; Il Caminetto is now a Toptable Group (Elisa, Blue Water, CinCin) restaurant, and late last year Menghi sold Trattoria to the owners of Vancouver's Joe Fortes.

Here is Menghi's statement in full about the temporary shuttering of Giardino:

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

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

It has been difficult to operate under the current circumstances 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 have found it to be quite an adjustment with, most importantly, maintaining social distancing between staff and customers and between customers alike. We will always give impeccable service in a warm, inviting environment and at this time we are unable to give the same service and environment that Giardino has been built on.

We hope to reopen again under different circumstances. My deepest apologies for the sudden decision. I hope to see you all again in the future.
 
Sincerely,
Umberto Menghi

This story was originally published on Sept. 22, 2020 and has since been updated with new information.