AHWATUKEE, AZ — It won't be forever, but after Christmas Eve, the authentic Italian Restaurant off 48th Street and Warner Road will be closing its doors.
Owner Claudia D'Amico gets emotional every time she talks about it.
“It’s something that we felt was necessary to keep being here," she said.
The D'Amico family moved to Arizona from Italy five years ago, with hopes of continuing the family business in the U.S.
“The rest of my family is in Italy," she added. "We love them, we love our country but we love better to stay here.”
Known for their linguine carbonara, homemade bread, pizza dough and Panettone, D'Amico was proud of the following their small family-owned business had built.
The restaurant means more to the D'Amico family than just a livelihood though. It's the driving factor of her family's U.S. residency.
"I have my investor visa," said D'Amico. "If the restaurant doesn’t work and the business doesn’t work it’s gonna show and I have to just leave the country. It’s not an option for me and for my family because we really love to be here. We're established and my customers became friends, my kids love them and they love my kids so it’s a mutual thing."
As a difficult year came to an end, D'Amico knew she needed to make a change in order to stay open. Business at the traditional dine-in spot was not what she needed to push forward into 2021. It was a family conversation that sparked the idea to transform their business model.
"We said OK, we have to figure out how we can bring our food to people," she said.
They've decided December 24 will be their last day of in-person dining. With hopes of re-opening sometime in January, they plan to shift to a more delivery-based model.
D'Amico says they plan to re-create their menu to allow customers to order anything from fresh bakes bread, and many of the favorites that's driven most of their business, while still offering full meals made to-go. Or, made ready to bake, depending on the order.
Still, they'll stick to some of what they've been doing. You'll still find Trattoria D'Amico at the Old Town Scottsdale Farmers Market on Saturday mornings, and making appearances at outdoor events with a mobile pizza oven.
D'Amico announced the change on the restaurant's Facebook page Wednesday, and says many loyal customers are sad to see they're struggling.
"There is no space for sadness," responded D'Amico. "Changes sometimes it hurt, but they are necessary to keep moving, to keep going and improving.”
"I feel that if this can inspire somebody that is in our same situation to you know, to do something, just don’t give up at least try. Try everything you have.”