PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — A local restaurant is now closing its door after not receiving a loan from the Paycheck Protection Program amid the coronavirus pandemic.
Alexander’s Italian Bistro in Bloomfield’s Little Italy is closing.
Alex Colaizzi tried to hang on during the pandemic. But once he was turned down for a small business loan, he made the decision to close for good.
Colaizzi’s father helped start the business in 1958 when it was called Alto’s.
It was a special place as all of the meals were from family recipes.
“It’s been my whole life,” owner Kim Ifft told KDKA’s Jennifer Borrasso. “It’s been all of our whole lives. The pasta dished are named after his grandchildren. All of our vendors were local. Everything was as local and as real as it could be.”
“It’s a very sad thing. Alexander’s was a good, old-fashioned Pittsburgh pasta place. You get a giant bowl of pasta. … I loved it when I was in high school,” said Michael Croneberger of Shadyside said.
A local consultant warns the closures will get even worse if restaurants don’t fully open within 45-60 days.
“We are going to have restaurants walking away, handing landlords their keys,” said Ron Sofranko of Sofranko Advisory Group. “I’m guessing it’s going to be 20 to 25 percent of all smaller restaurants are going to go by the wayside.”
For Alexander’s, the hardest part is not being able to say goodbye.
“I miss not being able to say goodbye to my good customers, all my friends, my employees, but it was time,” Colaizzi said.
“We just want to say thanks for letting us say goodbye. We love Bloomfield,” Ifft said.
Alexander’s employed about 30 people.