Beloved Junction pizzeria Vesuvio is closing due to COVID-19

Family-owned restaurant has been open for 63 years

A Junction staple is set to bid Toronto farewell, as Vesuvio Pizzeria and Spaghetti House will close its doors for good on April 19.

The family-owned pizzeria is closing due to the difficulty of operating during the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. The restaurant, which is owned and operated by the Pugliese family in the Junction neighbourhood, posted a farewell message of thanks on Facebook.

“The decision to close was a difficult one, but like many restaurants, our business has been affected by the COVID-19 crisis,” the statement reads.

“We’re proud of what we have achieved and look to the future with optimism. And after 63 years, we’re also looking forward to a little downtime. We have good memories that we’ll cherish forever, and we know that many of you do too.”

We at Vesuvio have proudly served our valued customers and the community for over 63 years, but the time has come to say…

Posted by Vesuvio Pizzeria and Spaghetti House on Tuesday, April 14, 2020

Vesuvio was opened in 1957 by brothers Dominic and Ettore, along with their father Rocco. The family was instrumental in beating down the Junction’s ban on alcohol.

“In 1969 the first battles concerning the ‘dry’ designation in the area were spearheaded by the Pugliese brothers,” reads a description on the restaurant’s website. “They understood that the public wanted to eat their Italian food with red wine and their pizza with beer.”

“Since the ‘dry’ designation had originally been introduced in 1903 by the residents, they were required to vote it out. Under provincial legislation; a ‘Lifestyle Change’ issue must be voted in by a majority of the ballots cast — 60% + 1 vote.”

The restaurant will close on April 19, so there are a few days for people to enjoy their favourite Vesuvio dishes one last time.