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Vancouver Italian restaurant closes up location that was rebirth of a beloved brand

The official closure comes less than three years after the popular "ristorante" re-opened under new ownership.
Don Francesco Ristorante in Vancouver's Coal Harbour was the second generation of a popular Italian fine dining restaurant

When Don Francesco Ristorante opened in 2018 in a new location it was the rebirth of a beloved local brand. With new owners and chef, the restaurant aimed to resonate with fans of the former Don Francesco's that had shuttered the year before after establishing itself as a local favourite for a high-end Italian dining experience.

Now Don Francesco in Coal Harbour has closed its doors permanently.

Located at 909 West Cordova in Coal Harbour, the new Francesco's was in the former Hapa Izakaya location and operated in in "dedication" to its "founding father, mentor, and friend, Francesco Alongi," i.e. B.C. Restaurant Hall of Famer and the Don Francesco. 

On OpenTable, where the restaurant is listed as permanently closed, Don Francesco is described as follows: "One of Vancouver's best Italian fine dining experiences. Explore the comforts and prestige of our extensive menu. Inspired by renowned chefs worldwide and drawing upon treasured Sicilian family recipes."

Reviews from patrons were mixed, with some expressing disappointment in the new iteration as compared to the legendary original on Burrard, and others delighted in the evolution of the brand.

Last year, a self-described "sibling" to Francesco's, the Blue Martini in Kitsilano - also in a former Hapa Izakaya location - closed after about four years

The Don Francesco Ristorante's website is gone, and the restaurant did not make a closure announcement on social media, where it had been inactive since late 2019.