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Don Alfonso 1890, one of the city’s poshest, most internationally-acclaimed spots, named 2nd best Italian restaurant in the world by 50 Top Italy in 2019, among other accolades, announced yesterday that it is permanently closing its doors.
Owned by Liberty Entertainment Group, the restaurant concept and menu were created by two Michelin-starred chefs. Don Alfonso 1890 was the first venture into the Canadian market for Italian chefs Alfonso and Ernesto laccarino. They were famous for their Michelin-starred restaurant of the same name on the Amalfi Coast.
Chef Ernesto Iaccarino in the kitchen at Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto.
Shuttered in March due to government-mandated closures caused by COVID-19, restaurant management planned to reopen the restaurant when safe. However, a message from Nick Di Donato, CEO and president of Liberty Entertainment Group, posted to the restaurant’s Instagram page yesterday reads, “[i]t is with a very heavy heart that we announce Don Alfonso 1890 Toronto … will be closing its doors at Toronto St.”
In a press release, Liberty Entertainment Group said that because of the restaurant’s high rent and annual payroll, it “was unable to qualify for the various government support programs.” In addition, the “heritage building that houses Don Alfonso 1890 is currently owned by a company based in China, who recently purchased the property for a condo development.”
Despite the grim news, Di Donato assures that the team is “working on new plans to reopen the concept in Toronto, as I feel strongly our culinary scene warrants something as unique as Don Alfonso 1890.”