Nino’s Italian Restaurant in Long Beach, California, which was featured on season 6 of Kitchen Nightmares has closed. The restaurant closed in August 2016 and posted the following message on their Facebook page:
“It’s Time to Say Good Bye – Nino’s celebrated its 58th Anniversary on July 31, and will be closing its doors on August 14, 2016. This is my family business and I was born into the restaurant family.
We didn’t expect the outpouring of customers upon announcing we are closing Nino’s. As a result, we have been running out of sauce, pizza dough, lasagna, and meatballs every night! Starting early every morning to cook we are proud of everyone’s effort to making our closing a tribute to my dad, Vincenzo “Nino” Cristiano. What an honor for us that guests are flying in from Texas, Atlanta, Washington, and Miami for a “last meal” with us! Some of our guests flying in just for the night and out the next day. As a family and staff, we are truly touched by this outpouring. We have enjoyed all the heartfelt memories shared and it is nice to see the frequency of people (every day if not every other day) wanting to get their last fill of old fashioned Italian. Definitely an era is ending with the closing of our doors representing the 1950’s Italian families meeting America with their cuisine. One of my favorite songs is by Dean Martin, “You’re Nobody Til Somebody Loves You” makes us feel very good about our closing the doors in respect to the outpouring of love you have given us in the last few weeks of business. It has been an honor to serve and cook for you since 1958! We are grateful for the many friendships and cherished memories born at Nino’s. Heartfelt thank you for a wonderful ending, “That’s Amore.” We love you too!
Friday, August 12 will be the last day of operation for the full service dining. Due to recent phone calls, text messages, and private FB’s messages, we are trying to accommodate more people over the weekend even with our banquet rooms booked. We have prior booked banquets so we will only have one dining room available for August 13 and August 14. Thursday night (August 11) and Friday (August 12) night we will do our best to accommodate everyone. Dinner hours will be from 3:30 to 10 (kitchen closing at 9 pm). Saturday and Sunday 5:00 to 9:00 pm.
Our history: July 31, 2016, marked 58 years in business for my family owned and operated legacy restaurant. Vincenzo “Nino” and Inge Cristiano opened the doors on July 31, 1958 one day in advance of their scheduled opening. My parents, Vincenzo and Inge Cristiano were new immigrants to America, landing in Long Beach in 1957 with my brothers a 4-year-old and 2 week old Nino and Mike. My parents started their restaurant business a year later when they took roots and their hearts felt at home after their world travels. My father’s brand for his new local eatery was “A little bit of Italy in Long Beach” and that is what he brought with his delicious antipasto salad, homemade minestrone soup, pizza, lasagna, manicotti, eggplant parmesan, chicken cacciatore, and much more!
Over the years, my family grew and each person had their contribution to the restaurant dynamics. My father had several nicknames including: “Nino Senior” Mr. Cristiano Boss, and The King. As a family we worked tirelessly in our restaurant business. I started hosting when I was 5 years old and full station waitress by 11 years old. I remember being in first grade and asking my teacher for the “tax sheet” so I could add taxes to the addition problems she gave me to do.
Our 16 table cloth restaurant grew by a large dining room, private fireplace dining room and, one banquet room with a full cocktail service bar. My father was also the person who petition and “fought City Hall” for outdoor patio dining. In my later teens we added a full scale catering service to our facility as well. My dad was also the leader in enforcing the smoking ordinance stating “it was unhealthy for customers and his staff to inhale second hand smoke!” I personally never had to suffer bronchitis again once the ordinance was in effect. From a personal experience, I know having nonsmoking restaurant establishments improves the quality of life for employees.
One of my contribution to our restaurant and business community was being a founding member of First Fridays. I knew Bixby Knolls needed transformation in arts, culture and small business. I also knew I needed to find a way to get our retail partners along the corridor to stay open later. As a result of my tenacity, teamwork mentality, and vision, I worked on securing funding from F&M Bank and Wachovia Bank. I also recruited other businesses and took a concept to reality with implementation. Working alongside our other founding members, Keith Lewis, Peter Dopulos, Doug Orr, and Krista Leaders, we created a lasting monthly event now taken over by the Bixby Knolls Business Association. Thanks to these efforts it encompasses the Bixby Knolls Atlantic Corridor from San Antonio Drive to Wardlow Road.
Nino’s Italian Restaurant is filled with rich memories and 5 generations of patrons. My family (Mother Inge, Brothers Nino and Mike, and Niece Jaclyn) and staff (Alfredo, Alvaro, Valentine, Ervin, Pedro, and Ivin) of many years has served many dinners, first dates, birthdays, anniversaries, weddings, reunions, corporate dinners, and even funerals. Sadly, even my dad’s funeral was held there on October 21, 2014. For us it isn’t the same without Dad. My mom is 82 years old and as a family, we have decided to close the doors and retire this family business. I personally feel it is the right time for us to enjoy more meals and outings together than to work serving meals. We had a wonderful life and met so many wonderful customers now considered friends, but I think it is a good time for us to move forward in life. I like what my brother Nino Cristiano (namesake of business) says, “Most families do not spend the amount of time together that we have, working alongside of one another and on our days off we are together too. We love the restaurant and the memories, but it is time for us to just be a family and not a restaurant family.”
On August 14, 9:00 p.m. we officially say good bye to our restaurant life.
Nino’s hours will be 3:30 to 10 pm nightly from August 1 to August 12.”
The building is listed for sale at $2,500,000 and includes the building, parking lot and kitchen. Nino’s is the sixth restaurant from season 6 of Kitchen Nightmares to close and the Kitchen Nightmares Update Page has been updated with this information.