The historic Caffè Commercio closes after 148 years. It was the meeting place for generations of Rimini people

The restaurant had increased sales and receipts in 2019, then the Covid emergency fell inexorably

Reality

Rimini
| 15:38 – 3 March 2022

The local historian's exterior
The local historian’s exterior.

by Riccardo Giannini

“A piece of Rimini’s story ends”. Thus, Lenny, daughter of Claudia Zangheri, historical owner of Caffè Commercio, announces the closure of the restaurant in Piazza Ferrari, which has lowered the shutter after 148 years of operation (it was opened in 1874). A family-run restaurant – Claudia Zangheri took over in 1996 and shortly afterwards her brother Massimo was added – who has lived in many generations of Riminibor and who over the years has hosted many celebrities: “The legendary Giancarlo Giannini, whom I respect very much. Paolo Cevoli, Maurizio Ferrini, Enrico Beruschi, Serena Grandi. The list is long. Also Marina Massironi, Fabio De Luigi and Elisabetta CanalisThe Sardinian showgirl and actress is also the protagonist of a tasty anecdote: “he ordered an empty flatbread, seasoned it with oil, salt and pepper, like carasau bread.”

Pleasant memories, a sad day for the city’s economy. Caffè Commercio is another part of Rimini’s economic and social fabric that is falling apart due to the economic crisis due to the pandemic: “After the shutdown, all in all, people wanted to leave. But the closures of the first quarter of 2021 (when Rimini was in the red zone, ed.) they cut off our bones. People were scared. Many long-term customers have disappeared, but not only from my restaurant “says Lenny, who adds: “then the locking has certainly changed the habits of people, who have rediscovered eating breakfast at home, the homemade aperitif”. By 2019, Caffè Commercio had increased sales and revenue (“we had also given an award to our employee”), then the Covid emergency fell inexorably.

There is bitterness, among the owners, even for the lack of support “by the state and the municipal administration”. The refreshments, Lenny points out, “they covered 10% of the losses”. Owners and employees will have a new profession (“We only closed the place when we all settled down”), while Caffè Commercio has not found a new owner, despite the efforts of the property, in the hunt for who can receive the baton and continue a history of over a hundred years. “There was only one possibility, we had been negotiating with an entrepreneur since the summer. A preliminary sale was completed in February, but then the buyer took a step back, communicated it via text message, and shortly afterwards opened a new store elsewhere..

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