Guarino's in Little Italy is Ready for 2021

A local restaurant trying to survive the coronavirus pandemic faced another setback in early December. A winter storm which dropped almost eight inches of heavy, wet snow on Cleveland caused major damage to the outdoor seating area at Guarino’s in Cleveland’s Little Italy neighborhood. “I had a bad feeling after seeing all that snow fall,” Scott Phillips, co-owner of Guarino’s, which holds the title of oldest restaurant in Cleveland at age 102, told La Gazzetta. “I asked a neighbor to check out our new patio setup to make sure the tented space was still intact.” The kind neighbor did so and placed a dreadful follow-up call. “She said, ‘Scott, you don’t want to hear this!’ I figured the tent roof was drooping. But she told me the entire roof had collapsed.”

The weight of the snow flattened the tent entirely. It was a huge blow to Scott and his team at Guarino’s. “The enclosed patio was beautifully decorated for Christmas. We were so excited for our customers to enjoy it.” You can still hear the disappointment in Scott’s voice knowing that his patrons will not be able to enjoy the winter garden over the holidays. The team put many hours into filling the space with the holiday spirit. 

After such a devastating blow, it would be easy for someone to lose the spirit of the season. However, Scott and the Guarino’s team are doing just the opposite. Guarino’s still welcomes diners inside and, of course, customers can order carry-out and delivery. 

While the winter storm may have knocked a piece of Guarino’s to the ground, nothing can take them down. Scott is excited for 2021 and even hinted at a new project that everyone will love. “This year has been extremely tough for the restaurant industry. But we survived the first pandemic (we opened in 1918), we will survive this one and we will be better than ever when we can fully reopen!” 

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