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La Famiglia is back! Historic Calgary restaurant to reopen after ‘closing for good’

After deciding that it wasn’t time for it to close down, two loyal customers of an iconic Calgary restaurant are reopening it in a few weeks.

Buon Giorno, a 17th Ave SW Italian restaurant that’s been around since the late 1980s, is reopening under new management.

It’s just in time for us to indulge in all the pasta, bread, wine, and yes, meatballs, we need to keep us warm through the winter.

After its doors were seemingly shut permanently in May, the classic Italian eatery is set to open again very soon.  

“We took a look at it as loyal customers and we’re going, ‘Buon Giorno isn’t ready to close yet,’” said David Harrison, one of the partners and new managers of the restaurant.

Harrison said he’d been going to the popular restaurant for years.

“Myself and my family, from when I was young, have been loyal customers of this restaurant,” said Harrison.

A disappointing, but temporary, end

In late May of this year, a notice was posted outside the restaurant by its previous owners. It announced the permanent closure, upsetting many Calgarians.

A sign outside of Buon Giorno Restaurant on 17th (screenshot from @yyctakeout on instagram)

For the last 4 years, Buon Giorno had been under the management of Claudio and Michael Carnali, who decided to close down the eatery due to financial strain and restrictions brought on by the pandemic.

But the new owners promise to bring the same signature food and service to the restaurant that Calgarians had grown to love.

‘A labour of love’

“There was never a there was never a problem with Buon Giorno,” said Harrison.

“Our intention in acquiring the restaurant and reopening it is to bring back the same great menu.”

He described the restaurant as a “labour of love,” that has been around for decades.

The pair is excited to bring back a sense of familiarity to its customer base. Harrison believes that’s one of the three key essentials to the success of the restaurant.

Part of the familiarity is also that the serving staff are coming back.

“We have the same waitstaff; the two principal servers named Jeremy and Roberto that have been here for 20 years,” said Harrison.

This is a home for them, he said. They all wanted to come back.

A part of Calgary’s history

Buon Giorno has been at the same address for more than 30 years. The classic Italian staple has occupied the building located at 823 – 17 Ave SW since 1987.

“We have been a meaningful and significant piece of Calgary for nearly 4 decades and look forward to welcoming our famiglia back!” said the restaurant’s management team.

Throughout its 33-year stint, the restaurant has seen many well-known celebrities and politicians walk through its doors, including former Calgary Mayor and Alberta Premier Ralph Klein.

And you won’t have to wait too long to walk through their doors again.

“We’re targeting September 28 to October 1 for reopening at this point,” said Harrison.

“Welcoming customers back through our doors is the thing that everyone’s excited the most about. Everyone really wants to get going.”