La Trattoria Ristorante In Scranton Closed For Good

February 23, 2019
Ciao: La Trattoria Ristorante In Scranton Closed For Good

SCRANTON — Ciao! La Trattoria Ristorante, a popular Italian restaurant in South Side for three decades, is closed for good, owner Mike Catalano said Friday.

Catalano initially intended a temporary closure of the landmark eatery at 522 Moosic St. for the month of December to undertake renovations in anticipation of selling the business.

But the sale transaction recently collapsed and Catalano decided against reopening the Scranton restaurant.

Also the owner of Nosh at 280 Main St. in Dickson City for nearly the past five years, Catalano, 68, in recent years battled esophogeal cancer and has found it too physically difficult to continue running both restaurants.

“I can’t reopen it (La Trattoria). I just don’t have the energy. I have Nosh still going, it’s just too much” to operate both restaurants.

La Trattoria’s roots date to 1985, when Catalano built a Checkers pizzeria on an empty lot at the Moosic Street site.

In 1988, he and business partner, his uncle Mario Catalano, bought a pasta-making machine and installed a wood-fired oven, and changed the name of the establishment.

“We said let’s call it ‘La Trattoria,’ a small, cozy, family-run restaurant,” Catalano recalled.

The restaurant had been known for its authentic Italian dishes and “Big Cheese Guarantee” of free seconds of pasta, so no customer would ever leave the dinner table hungry.

A native of West Scranton who lives in Jessup, Catalano will continue operating Nosh and try to sell the La Trattoria property.

In response to customer requests, Nosh now will feature a few La Trattoria menu favorites, including pasta fagioli, stracciatella soup and rollantini al forno.

Closing La Trattoria for good is “a difficult decision,” but the right one for Catalano, he said.

“For me, it never was a job. I just loved it. Now, I can’t do two places at the same time anymore,” Catalano said. “It was great, but it came to an end.”

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jlockwood@timesshamrock.com; 570-348-9100 x5185;

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