Bad news for West Side porchetta lovers. Sadly, both Pronto restaurant and its neighbouring Prontino bar are closing next month. Cambie Village is not only losing these two well-respected establishments but possibly also the gorgeous Art Deco building that houses them. Restaurateur Angela Maida sent me an email yesterday claiming she’d been “renovicted” (her word, not mine) by the building’s new owner to make way for his dental practice. She also pointed me to the following message on the restaurant’s Facebook page, which says she expects to see the building’s eventual demolition:
The owners and staff at Pronto/Prontino recently received some disappointing news.
Our beautiful building will be demolished by its new owner.
We intend to keep our doors open as long as possible, but most likely not beyond the first week of March.
We count ourselves fortunate to have been able to host so many wonderful guests over the past many years. Guests from right here in the neighbourhood, guests from other parts of Vancouver and the lower mainland, and quite frankly guests from around the globe.
It has been our privilege to provide a place for friends and families to gather and enjoy a casual meal, or to celebrate a special occasion or simply just to have a bite or a drink in a friendly – we like to think comfy – environment. We were honoured with your requests to host weddings, birthdays, graduations and engagements… and we were particularly humbled by so many of you who returned to our “little joint” again and again over the years.
We were well supported by the community and are grateful to all of the people who crossed the threshold into Pronto and then later into our addition, Prontino.
On behalf of all of us we thank you for the wonderful years and we hope to see you one last time before we must close our doors permanently.
Sigh. Renoviction or demolition aside, it’s just too bad. It’s such a cool-looking address, and it’s a shame it might not be sticking around. Here are some shots and words on Prontino, which I took and wrote on the day it opened back in May, 2014.
Scott Cohen did the design, and I think it’s one of his best to date (see also Exhile Bistro, The Acorn, Pronto, etc.). It’s a sort of stylish, high-wire balancing act between super casual and especially cool. It’s woody but not clubby; old school nautical but wholly unpretentious; more Arthur Ransome than Ralph Lauren, more Florence than Rome. For certain, it’s very pretty, the sort of place you’d happily surrender hours and dollars to just to stay in its embrace with glass in hand. You will likely wish to hell and back that it was around the corner from your house. And damn your good luck if it is.
Our best wishes to the staff and those in the community who regularly bent elbows there.