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Vescio's Italian Restaurant closing; Dinkytown becoming even more unrecognizable

RIP

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Vescio's Italian Restaurant, Dinkytown's red-sauce staple since 1956, is about to be history. The family-owned Minneapolis eatery will close in March, according to a note posted Sunday via Facebook. 

"It has been one heck of a run," the Vescio family writes. "We have had the pleasure of serving multiple generations of families over the years. We have even had five generations of our own family working at Vescio’s in Dinkytown!!!" 

"All good things must come to an end," the note concludes, adding that the family will "move on to new beginnings, adventures, and opportunities."

The Vescio’s building at 406 14th Ave. SE is owned by Fredrick Vescio, according to property records, so it's likely the family is cashing out after decades in the restaurant biz. The crew at Vescio's did not immediately respond to our request for comment; we'll update this post as soon as we hear back. A satellite Vescio's in St. Louis Park closed in 2016 after 30-plus years in business. 

Two sports legends -- Strib columnist Sid Hartman and NCAA hoops coach Bobby Knight -- loved the Dinkytown Vescio’s, and Sid even has a namesake pizza on the menu. Here's a snippit from Knight's 2003 autobiography:

"At Minneapolis, we went to the same Italian place, Vescio's, for about twenty straight years -- Sid Hartman our host, a waitress named Mary Jane our virtual private hostess, Bud Grant a regular, and Paul Molitor and Tommy John among other outstanding players and great people who joined us at least once or twice."

For Gopher grads, like the '10 one writing this very sentence, Dinkytown has become a largely unrecognizable sea of chain stores and high-end student apartments. It's in a regular "corporatized death spiral," according to at least one alarmist member of the local press. 

In just the past decade we've lost House of Hanson grocery store, Dinkytowner Cafe, Podium guitar shop, Biermaier's Books, and, as of last December, longtime coffee hangout Espresso Royale. The historic Varsity Theater recently reopened with long overdue new ownership, so at least there's that. Pray for Al's Breakfast. 

Here's the entire farewell message from team Vescio's: