TUCSON, Ariz. (KOLD News 13) – A beloved local restaurant, Tino’s Pizza, on Tucson’s eastside is closing its doors after nearly four decades of business.
Morgan Chonis said her father, Dino, opened Tino’s Pizza 37 years ago. Her memories go back to when she was tiny enough to fit in the dough buckets, and she’s holding onto those memories tightly as her family prepares to close the restaurant next month.
“It was a decision my family decided to make and honoring my dad’s legacy through letting that legacy really retire,” she said.
They’ve felt an outpouring of support from the community just as they did last year when her father passed away.
“The community came out to leave love notes and their messages on the wall of what this restaurant means to them and their family,” she said.
After nearly four decades they’ve become a must-visit spot for many families.
“We live an hour south and when we come up for mini golf across the street this is our go-to,” said customer Michael Hopp.
The Hopps visit Tino’s Pizza every time they’re in town and said it is a hidden gem that they’re sad to see go. To celebrate the end of an era, the restaurant is inviting former staff back to work one last shift in the kitchen.
“We have one guy who is in New York tagging someone in Colorado like I’ll fly in if you fly in,” Chonis said. “It’s really cool seeing former employees come in.”
It’s the staff, customers, and overall sense of community at the restaurant that she will miss the most.
“When they’re coming to pick up their pizza they’ll say, ‘I just have to tell you’ and they share their story. It warms my heart,” she said.
The final day the restaurant will be open is Feb 2.
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