The rumors are true, Il Trattoria di Merende is closing after this weekend.
I just got off the phone with Julia Martin-Lombardi, who opened the restaurant with son Ian Lombardi, and Ken Lombardi in December 2008. She confirmed the restaurant will close, but she’s hoping it’s temporary. The restaurant will remain open through the weekend. I asked her to keep TNT Diner readers informed.
So why the closure? Martin-Lombardi said…..
“Ever since Ian passed away, we have been having some financial issues,” said Martin-Lombardi. She was referring to the unexpected death of her son in November. “We were just about ready to make it right before he passed away. And we hit a real slump. We had been looking for investors and we are at this point searching for investors.”
The restaurant is for sale, or open for investors at this moment. She added, “There are not many fine restaurants down here. It’s difficult in the economic times. We were just about to get over that hump.” She acknowledged that investors may not be lining up to fund the restaurant. “The other part of the problem is banks don’t want to loan to restaurants, especially right now,” she said.
Her parting thoughts, “We’ve enjoyed the last year and we hope to continue on, it’s been a beautiful experience. We built a beautiful restaurant and everybody has been wonderful down here. Tacoma is a growing area and I think that it has a ways to grow. I just think that we need more of these kind of restaurants down here. I hate to see any of them lost.”
NOTE: I'll continue to update this blog post as I get more details.
Merende Where: 813 Pacific AvePhone: 253-722-1993, www.merenderestaurant.com