Published March 23, 2013
Our Valley will lose a long time favorite in the restaurant / wine community this evening. Alberini's Restaurant will close its doors after decades of serving up great food and wine to people on the Niles strip. While many people have expressed shock at the announcment, those inside the local restuarant scene have been expecting the closure over the last year.
Richard Alberini opened his restuarant before the Niles strip became the crowded collection of chain restuarants and strip plazas that it it today. Alberini was a leader in the wine world, building one of the most extensive and impressive collection of wines in his restaurant's cellar.
He was known well throughout California, Italy, and France and was welcomed at wineries around the world. In a recent interview for The Vindicator, Vernon's Cafe Wine Director Dennis Huston (who worked at Alberini's 25 years) called Alberini a "true pioneer" and credited him for starting and developing the strong wine / food community that still thrives in our Valley today.
Richard Alberini passed way a few years ago after a long battle with cancer. His son Chookie took over operation of Alberini's upon his passing. It is sure to be a bittersweet evening at Alberini's tonight, but the memories shared by thousands of Valley wine and food lovers will live on forever.