Joe Boccardi's in Swansea closes

News-DemocratFebruary 17, 2014 

An Italian restaurant has closed temporarily in Swansea, citing struggling sales, but plans to reopen in a few weeks as an Irish pub.

Joe Boccardi's Ristorante closed Sunday night, according to owner Ray Boccardi. He said the location was not making as much money as other locations.

Boccardi said he plans to work with a new partner to reopen the business by St. Patrick's Day as an Irish pub.

"It's a bittersweet situation," he said, mentioning that the Boccardi name has been used for 43 years to operate Italian restaurants. "But I'm excited to try something new."

The inside of the restaurant and menu will be revamped to fit the new theme.

The family-owned Joe Boccardi's business has locations in Columbia, Ill., and in Missouri in Eureka, Fenton and Webster Groves.

Joe Boccardi gift cards will be honored at the other locations, Boccardi said Monday.

Boccardi kept the Italian restaurant open through Valentine's weekend, so they only have three weeks to prepare for the new pub.

"The goal is to be opened by St. Patrick's Day," Boccardi said.

Employees have been given the option to stay on. "All employees who will want to stay can stay," he said.

Boccardi said the Swansea restaurant's liquor license was suspended for about a week and a half due to a paperwork glitch, but the license was back up to date and had no bearing on why the restaurant closed.

"It was not making enough money," Boccardi said.

Contact reporter Maria Hasenstab at mhasenstab@bnd.com or 618-239-2460.

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