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Tapazza R.I.P.

By Geniene P. (Contact)

Published November 18, 2008

I’m sure I’ll be attacked for admitting that I’m a food snob.  Go for it.  My family has been saying it for years since I decided to cook my own meals in high school out of caloric concerns.  Don’t think I’m that high falutin’.  It’s just I have been spoiled by living in areas where there is a vast selection of multi-ethnic food at various price points (it all began at Ohio State with my first taste of real burritos, sushi and Chinese food).  I do have my area favorites like Alladin’s (over-priced a little in my opinion), Café Capri (definitely on the high end for my budget) and the superb Bread Chef (organic pastries and scrumptious Vietnamese goodies).  Still, I haven’t found many places that serve anything with truffle oil until Tapazza which has a heavenly pizza drizzled in the elixir of the gods.  Plus, they allow me to bring my own wine for my dinner and, thus, save a great deal of money.  I love that!  I am so saddened to learn that they are shutting down the menu and name “Tapazza”.  I was so excited that a tapas restaurant had moved into my neighborhood and could help revitalize it.  What makes me even more aggrieved is the fact that it is becoming ANOTHER BBQ restaurant.  Ugh.  Why oh why doesn’t anything unique and faintly cool last here?  Join me in a collective moment of silence for Tapazza (I know there are many fans out there).  And, I implore Nunzio & Lorenzo Scordo to re-open Tapazza again (or send me the recipe for that awesome pizza with truffle oil). ;)


1lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Moment of silence observed. We're squeezing in one last Tapazza dining experience on Friday, and I'm determined to master the bacon-wrapped date recipe. We'll have to swap.

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2lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

city, I agree completely about the chain saturation, but there are several locally owned one-of-a-kind restaurants in Boardman that have flourished; Cafe Capri comes to mind. When I heard the news, I thought it might have more to do with a liquor license (Tapazza doesn't have one), which is notoriously hard to get in Boardman. My hope is that Tapazza will move downtown, hint, hint.

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3YoungstownKidd(40 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Tapazza would be a great fit downtown, however, the larger problem is lack of pre-ready available space and current market demand.

Most of the existing vacant buildings in downtown do not have a kitchen. Additionally, the Youngstown Initiative (which gave $100,000 start-up grants to downtown business and led to the boom a few years back) is no longer funded due to budget restrictions. Therefore, it becomes an enormous expense/risk for small business start-ups to build new in downtown. This also presumes that businesses can even receive a loan (see Bean Counter).

A built-in market is being developed in downtown which might help give start-ups more lines of credit in this economy, however, I think that we need to see the Realty Tower completed and all 23 units filled, work underway on the Wick Building, total infrastructure dollars in place and ground being turned regarding the first phase of Smoky Hollow, and the YSU business college open. That is about a 2-4 year window.

Also, keep in mind that a number of businesses at present are simply breaking even month to month and we new businesses (Lemon Grove, Downtown 36) that is scheduled to open (at some point) and - with the Fallen Firefighters Mem Bridge now reopened - Anthony's On the River plans to reopen. So, my point is, is that while there are a lot of great restaurants that would seem to be a good fit downtown, there is still a strong suburban market demand in the surrounding area and a question of saturation given at-present demand presents itself. We are all downtown patriots and we definitely want to see more, however, I believe we have a diverse selection at present that we need to continue to support as the downtown continues to gain more and more popularity and until a residential market is firmly established in the greater downtown Youngstown area. As these two aspect continue to develop, the demand will speak and more start-ups will deliver.

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4lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Now that was a meal! Great comment, Phil. Thanks.

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5sinthor(87 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

If its anything like the Bone Bucket, then it too will close caz the BB sucks big time!! not good very bad, will never eat it again! Good luck on that one.

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6girl_about_town(28 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

thanks for the head's up. i never got around to tapazza, though i heard such wonderful things about to. mayhaps i will crash lucy's friday night date ;)

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7Cbarzak(110 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Long live Tapazza. Somewhere else, if not in Boardman. It was the best food I've had in this area in, well, ever. I am not so interested in another BBQ place, though.

Though the downtown doesn't have ready buildings for places like this, I think it would be the sort of place where it would do better than where it was in Boardman, where it really is more of a chain restaurant style place than original cuisine or ethnic cuisine.

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8lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

sinthor, FYI, it is going to be a Bone Bucket. Sorry to break the bad news.

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9projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

And if anyone knows a local Thai chef, implore them to open a restaurant here!!! :)

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10cityguy(109 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

With you on that--I loved Tapazza and have been wishing for a Thai restaurant since I moved here five years ago--so tired of Italian and chains and Italian chains.

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11sinthor(87 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Lucy,thats to bad caz the bb is realllllly nasty, well to me,but to someone else it could be aswome. thanks for the bad news.

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12lucy(135 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

We just got back from our last Tapazza visit. Great meal. Great night.

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13projectgeniene(87 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

Has anyone tried the new Vietnamese place on S. Ave. across from Sam's Club? Along with Thai, that type of food is my second huge type of food I miss after living in NYC. Every time I go back to NYC, I tell my friends we have to eat Thai and Vietnamese. Regarding Italian chains in Ytown, what's with that? Doesn't anyone know how to cook Italian here anymore? Even if I visit Nicolini's or Cafe Capri, I only get dishes I don't know how to cook because I can whip up sauce, lasagna, wedding soup or risotto any time. Plus, pasta dishes are so cheap to make at home and I refuse to give a restaurant my money for a dish that is so profitable for them.

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14isaac45(406 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

been there, the vietnamese place...beautiful set-up, nicely decorated....i had the noodle dish, mom, the soup...pretty good, not overwhelmed...liked the rolls the best, very good...would like to try the chinese part of the menu...service (waitress) lacking in sweetness,a little rough

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15isaac45(406 comments)posted 7 years, 7 months ago

disappointed about tapazza..have already tried bone bucket...brothers have good taste, but will need to bring cost and amount of food in line with majority of valley residents pocketbooks

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