×

Roberto’s Italian restaurant is closed for good

YOUNGSTOWN — Roberto’s Italian Ristorante, which hasn’t been open for months, will not reopen.

John Naples, who co-owned the downtown restaurant at 103 W. Federal St., posted on Facebook that Roberto’s “has closed for good” and “a new restaurant will be opening” next month under different ownership.

“We never dreamed that we would have the year that we did,” Naples wrote. “We only dreamed of being around (until) the end of time. We are both extremely sad and wish we could (have) stuck around (until) Roberto was healthier, but that wasn’t to be.”

Naples was referring to his partner, Robert “Roberto” Faraglia.

The restaurant opened in 2012.

The new restaurant will also specialize in Italian cuisine, Naples wrote.

“We decided to embrace their journey instead of any kind of undeserved animosity,” Naples wrote. “We are already planning to be there on opening day and would love if others will do the same. We can all toast to the new owners and to Roberto’s incredible recovery from what was nothing less than a miracle. Still a ways to go, but progressing daily.”

Naples finished the post thanking customers and asking people to “follow us on our next journey — a Roberto’s ‘reopening’ is now dream No. 2.”

Because of Faraglia’s health issues, the restaurant closed during the summer.

Also, the Ohio Department of Taxation put a notice on the restaurant’s door Oct. 4 for failing to pay sales tax. The restaurant wouldn’t have been able to reopen without paying those late taxes.

“We have not received any of the sales tax returns or payments that are due that are delinquent,” Gary Gudmundson, a department spokesman, said Monday.

Gudmundson said he couldn’t disclose how much money Roberto’s owes the state.

Delinquent tax accounts are eventually turned over to the Ohio Attorney General’s Office for collections, he said.

“This particular business has been in our habitual offenders program,” Gundmundson said. “The business hasn’t filed or paid any of the outstanding sales tax returns.”

The state shut down the restaurant in January for not paying state sales tax. Those delinquent taxes were subsequently paid and Roberto’s reopened.

dskolnick@tribtoday.com