Final Food Fest Ends 62 years of Gastronomic Memories

Nick Felicella the iconic padrone of East Vancouver’s famous Italian eatery offered his loyal clientele an exit menu of voluptuous pasta, meatballs, spareribs and lasagna, the house special which all came to an end of December 21st!
At the advice of our hosts Clive and Linda, Judy and I arrived to meet them with Clive’s brother Phil and sister-in-law June Cocking at 4:30 Friday afternoon. What a stroke of genius. As a result, it only took an hour and a half for us to be seated in the packed, stacked and gregarious crowd of excited customers ecstatic to have a last-chance fling at Nick’s modestly priced fare.
At one point, we toasted to the memory of the late Jimmy Ricci, a patron of the bistro for over thirty years. Jimmy was a Vancouver Sun circulation district manager who supervised the East Hastings area. He enjoyed many a luncheon and dinner conversing with Nick while enjoying his favourite pasta dish splashed with copious amounts of the house red. He was a gem of a man, loved by all who knew him. Sorry, he couldn’t have been with us that night. God bless his memory!
Among the other revellers were Mary and Larry Crema with their son and two granddaughters. They too felt the nostalgic sting gripping all of us for that last goodbye dinner. For sixty-two years Nick faithfully served his phalanx of patrons which included slick horserace touts and classy entrepreneurs like Jimmy Pattison. Closing the door, forever shut, at Nick’s Spaghetti House, 631 Commercial Drive, seals the end of an era in the history of Vancouver’s unique and amazing restaurateurs.
Also, in the mix of well wishers that night were younger members including Mel Bogdanich and Mark Steel who sat across the aisle from Annette and Maarten Ene. During the course of the evening, it truly was amazing to observe the professionalism of the waitresses.
Our server was Susan MacDonald, a six-year veteran at Nick’s, who was delightfully composed and marvellously efficient.
The portions were embarrassing huge which accounts for the large doggy-bag take-away which, of course, comprises the ingredients of a second final Nick’s Spaghetti House dinner later today!
Ray Culos

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