A CORNER of Stockbridge has ushered in the end of an era as the community said a fond farewell to brothers Nino and Franco Alonzi of Franco’s Fish & Chips after 46 years.
They were overwhelmed by the community reaction to their retirement and enjoyed sharing some special memories.
Nino said: “We’ve appreciated all the custom over the years, some regulars and some well-known names. We’ve had a special relationship with local schools, including Broughton High and Fettes.
“I can assure customers the quality of service and standard of food will continue under Pino Vita, who leases the business from us with the help of his family, in particular his 22-year-old son, Ricardo.
“Pino has over 25 years catering experience and has run an Italian restaurant in Tollcross. We’ve have had the pleasure of knowing Pino for a number of years as he worked for us in the San Marco kitchen in the 1990s.
“Initially I will swing by a few times a week to help Pino out and I will enjoy seeing many familiar faces walking down Raeburn Place. My son Vinny, who recently got married and moved to America, has also been at the forefront of our business over recent years. We have fantastic memories and will be sad to say cheerio.”
Nino then went on to describe the change they had seen in Stockbridge over the years – initially they were surrounded by shoe shops, a dairy, a bank, clothes shop, a chemist and a toy shop.
He added that said, now there are a number of fine establishments, including the popular Raeburn across the road, restaurant Rollo and The Pastry Section, which only opened its doors recently, where he has enjoyed going in for a coffee and pastry each morning.
Restaurateur and Michelin-starred chef Tom Kitchin at the Scran and Scallie was full of praise for Franco’s and wished the brothers all the best for the future.
He said: “Franco’s is a firm favourite in Stockbridge and over the years, the family-run business has become a real part of the community.
“Many people have a lot of fond memories of Franco’s – of the friendly welcome and some of the best chip butties in the city. I know I won’t be alone in wishing Franco and Nino all the best.”
New owner Pino Vita said that he was keen to get started and reassured existing customers that the well-established Franco’s name would stay.
He said: “I’m excited to take on this new challenge now that my family have grown up. I intend on keeping the name Franco’s and giving the place of a bit of a face-lift.
“We already source our fish from Armstrong’s across the road and I’m hoping to introduce burgers with beef from George Bower’s Butchers, just a few doors down”