San Diego

Historic Sanfilippo's Pizza in La Mesa Closes Its Doors for Good

Customers lined up out the door for their last taste of Sanfilippo's Pizza

The historic family-owned pizza parlor, Sanfilippo's Pizza, on La Mesa Boulevard, closed its doors for good Sunday. 

On the restaurant's final day in business, customers from across San Diego came to say goodbye to a place that served so much more than pizza. 

"You get good service, you you know you get to know the people they almost become part of their family or you become part of their family," said Les Ford, a customer. 

The owners have been serving slices since 1975. 

Ben Zigarelli has been playing music since the place opened. Sunday was his final show. 

"It hurts, you know," he said. "I hate that it's over."

Zigarelli said the corner pizzeria has been a fixture for many in La Mesa, including him. 

"When my wife died, all the holidays, I spent with these people, and they watch out for me, they phone me, they're good people," he said.

Dora Sanfilippo-Calcutt's mother and father started this business decades ago, and since then, she has helped take over. Closing was a choice they had to make, she explained. 

"We're closing now because we can do it our way," said Sanfilippo-Calcutt. "With what I see coming, it's going to be much harder to stay in business in the next couple of years, and I don't want to have to go out I don't want to have to sell this way we kind of did it our own way."

Still, there's a lot of sadness involved. Since the place opened, she has watched her family grow: from the cooks, to the workers to the customers.

"It's hard to see that end...saying goodbye to your family...Yup, it's hard to see that end," said Sanfilippo-Calcutt.

Many San Diegans agree with her. Sunday night, the restaurant was so packed, it ran out of pizza. Customers lined up out the door for their final taste of Sanfilippo's, because what was really on the menu at the restaurant for the past forty years was love.

"It's really kind of cool that we made a little piece of history here on our little corner in La Mesa," said Sanfilippo-Calcutt.

The owners say they will sell everything inside the restaurant on July 2nd. Meanwhile, they expect a new restaurant to take over by September.

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