Citta’ will close its doors forever on May 31 after nearly three decades of operations. The popular Whistler establishment with its patio overlooking Village Square is closing because the company that owns the space wants to take it over to open a new venture in that location.
The lease at the eatery in the heart of Whistler’s pedestrian stroll is ending and won’t be renewed with the Citta’ owners. Some minor renovations are planned by the Burrard Group, the company that owns the space. A new neighbourhood pub is to open in the location this spring.
Citta’ general manager Scott Gadsby said the news was tough to take.
“Feeling pretty gutted,” Gadsby said when he was asked how he felt about the situation.
Gadsby described the pub as a social hub for Whistler. He and his wife, Lynn, met each other for the first time at the location.
“We’re getting moved out,” said Gadsby. “We didn’t want to go — they’re just making us move out.“
The news was announced through a media release issued by Ian Lowe, the general manager of the Crystal Lodge and Suites.
“We recognize that Citta’ Bistro has been an iconic landmark in the heart of Whistler Village for many years, so we make this decision with mixed emotions,” wrote Lowe.
The Burrard Group is a family-owned company based in Vancouver with deep roots in Whistler.
According to Lowe, Citta’ employees will be given priority consideration when hiring for the new, as yet unnamed, operation takes place this spring.
When the Citta’ lease came up for renewal in 2009 the owners of the space initially indicated they didn’t want to renew with the Citta’ owners but eventually a deal was struck in the months ahead of the Olympic Winter Games of 2010 and Citta’ was saved.
Pique will have more coverage of the Citta’ closure in the weeks ahead.