Reader: Sad to see Little Italy fall restaurant by restaurant

Categories: Cafe Society

Over the past year, we've lost three more of the Italian restaurants that used to blanket northwest Denver like red sauce. Pagliacci's shuttered last August, after 66 years in business; Longo's Subway Tavern closed in September, after 52 years; and Carbone's, the iconic Italian sandwich shop and market, has been dark since the start of the year. But now there are signs of life at the former home of Little Pepina's, which closed decades ago but is still remembered in the sign on the side of the building. It isn't coming back as an Italian joint, though: A liquor license has been pulled for Kobe An Japanese Fondue.

Lori Midson grew up on this side of town, and Little Pepina's was her mother's favorite restaurant. Her fond memories of Richard Blick's place brought back other memories:

See also:
- After two decades, Little Pepina's will become Kobe An Japanese Fondue
- Photos: Last supper at Pagliacci's

- Longo's Subway Tavern reaches the end of the line

Says grizzly323:

I worked at Little Pepina's as a seventeen-year-old kid. Rich made my life hell but was a great boss, and I loved busing tables for Dino. He could tell stories for days. Great guy. This article made me realize how much I miss him and the gang. Sad to see Little Italy fall restaurant by restaurant.

What restaurant do you miss most that's left northwest Denver? What's your favorite Italian restaurant in the city today?

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That building would make great condos...full of history and aroma.


The Itakian's would be there if the food was good and not overpriced. As the decendant of Italians from this neighborhood ( my father was born near Pagliacci's my parents and uncles and aunts quit coming because the food went downhill and the prices went uphill. Pagliacci's priced itself out of range of the originals. Despite it getting best Spaghetti and Meatballs, Patsy's food is an abomination from what it used to be. Richard Blick shrank the portions, raised the prices and ruined Little Pepina's from what it used to be when Queeni Madonna ran it.


Pagliacci's went b/c the younger generations didn't want the work of a restaurant when they were sitting on a goldmine of land.  While they are definitely not sitting on a land goldmine, the problem is the same for Carbone's.  The kids don't want all the work that goes into a place like that.  And no one seems to be the next Tom Leprino for this neighborhood.

It doesn't make it any less painful for those of us from that hood to see these places go.  And the Gaetano's signage makes me want to puke every time I pass by it.


Unfortunately little italy wasn't a teneble ideal without actual italians to support it. What's even more unfortunate is that the neighborhood 'just' got to a point where the locals could afford the likes of pagliacci's (which, while delicious, was overpriced) but the die-off is more likely the product of three decades without italians, rather than gentrification.

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