Known for its ‘heart’ and exquisite dishes, Italian restaurant shuts doors after 27 years in Hamilton


Published November 13, 2023 at 12:12 pm

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La Piazza Allegra has cooked traditional Italian family dishes and specialties for countless guests at its downtown Hamilton location and various sites, from castles and historical buildings to bridges and forests.

Due to the owners’ retirement and the next generation’s focus on a new vision and new ventures, the Hamilton Italian restaurant said it decided to end its 27-year run. The restaurant closed on Saturday, Nov. 4.

In a Facebook post on Nov. 10, it thanked its guests who have made its service “a true pleasure” since 1997.

“With mom and dad moving on to their next stage in life, through retirement, and the next generation focused on other hospitality ventures such as Sasso Pizza Market & Bar, and future (soon to be announced!) ventures the business climate at James St South & Duke no longer facilitates the vision of the organization,” wrote owner and award-winning executive chef Mark Farrugia. “We look forward to serving you at Sasso Pizza Market & Bar or at one of our future endeavours.”

Farrugia expressed gratitude for guests. “We have always been grateful to our many supporters over the years for allowing us to explore and expand our culinary aspirations.”

He added the restaurant’s commitment to giving back to the community. “We have always been committed to the social/economical needs of our city and have supported as best as we could.”

The downtown Hamilton fixture at 180 James St. S. was grateful as well for the hospitality community.

“These committed and incredibly talented people make our city better and I’m fortunate to call many of them friends,” Farrugia wrote.


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Mark Farrugia, owner and executive chef of La Piazza Allegra in Hamilton, said his restaurant is closing due to his parents’ retirement and new ventures he’s taking on. COURTESY OF LA PIAZZA ALLEGRA

La Piazza Allegra was known not only for its food and wines but also its warm family ambiance.

“Thank you to the entire team La Piazza for the incredible dedication and commitment to our community and to the culinary growth in Hamilton. La Piazza Allegra embodied the Italian culture providing delicious food, friendly service, but most of all heart. All the best for the next chapter for you all. Thanks for the memories!!,” wrote Karen Aquino.

“Sorry to hear this news. Amazing food and welcoming staff. Neighbourhood will not be the same without you!!” wrote Elizabeth Gray in response to the restaurant’s Facebook post.

“Thank you for your hospitality and glorious meals over the years. I wish you all the very best on your next ventures,” wrote Kerri Withers.

“Bummer. 9 years of staff parties there. It will be missed,” wrote Scott Bell.

“You along with your parents and family have always killed it. Hamilton is so lucky to be home to your amazing talent and restaurants. Change is the only constant in life, embrace this new path,” wrote Susan Hanmer.

“Mark ..your parents and yourself have been an anchor to many community events in the city for 27 years…congratulations for all you have done … On a personal note La Piazza Allegra Hamilton has and always hold very fond memories…it was always like being welcomed into a friends home…warm and inviting… Whatever your next venture…l wish you well..
Thank you for 27 years of lovely memories…,” wrote Cheryl Little.

“We are saddened by this news. La Piazza Allegra has been our favorite restaurant for so many special occasions….Anniversary dinners, birthday celebrations, my work retirement party. The food was always exquisite….but most of all Mark, how you, your parents and your staff made us feel as guests was always so incredible. Thank you for such a great run and amazing contribution to Hamilton core,” wrote Tom and Ann Nicholas.

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