Vincenzo’s Ristorante to Close After 15 Years Due to Andover’s Big Rents and Small Parking

Vincent Cicerchia closed his restaurant’s doors for the last time on Saturday and said his final goodbyes. Cicerchia, the owner of Vincenzo’s Ristorante, which opened in 1993, permanently closed the restaurant on Saturday, February 16. After 15 years in business, Cicerchia, who also owns other Vincenzo’s franchises in Chelmsford and Concord, Massachusetts, sold the restaurant to Sally Fabian, who intends to reopen the restaurant as Fabian’s Serene on March 8. The two other locations will remain open, although Cicerchia said he plans to spend less time in the business. Although Andover was a great location and the Phillips Academy students were great customers, there were also challenges, according to Cicerchia. “The rents in Andover are unbelievably high,” he said, “and parking is tight.” It was a tough decision to bid goodbye 15 years of dedication and hard work, he said. Cicerchia has been in the restaurant business for almost 30 years and said he recognized a good buyer when he saw one. “The offer was there,” he said. “An offer I couldn’t refuse.” Cicerchia estimated that thousands of Phillips Academy students eat at the restaurant each year. He referred to Parents’ Weekend and other long weekends throughout the year as big business times. His wife, who he met in the restaurant, was a PA graduate. One of Cicerchia’s favorite memories with students was the time a Hawaiian family hired the entire restaurant out for a graduation party. “The restaurant really means a lot to me, and I would just like to thank the PA community for being so supportive throughout all these years,” he said. In gratitude, Cicerchia offered a special discount of 25 percent off all entrees during dinners Sundays to Thursdays and for all lunches for the remainder of the school year upon presentation of student ID. Asked if he believed Fabian would continue this policy, Cicerchia said, “I don’t know, I can’t speak for her.” Fabian was unavailable for comment. Fabian, an Andover resident, will be turning Vincenzo’s into Fabian’s Serene. The new restaurant will feature internal makeovers and a completely new menu. While Vincenzo’s served exclusively Italian food, Fabian’s will have a mixture of Italian and American dishes. Despite the sweeping changes, Fabian intends to retain Cicerchia’s staff of 20. Cicerchia said he is confident that Fabian will make her restaurant a hot-spot for dining in Andover. Part of her plan includes live music on weekends and possibly cooking classes for local residents. One of Fabian’s main aims is to turn it into a family place, Cicerchia said. Many Phillips Academy students were unaware of the change of ownership. After an initial reaction of “oh, no!” Abby Levene ’09 said, “I love Vincenzo’s. The food is delicious and it is really convenient. It is the perfect restaurant to go to with my family when they come to visit.” Alanna Waldman ’10 agreed, saying that she would miss one of their famous entrees, the shrimp-pasta dish. Alexis Dawkins ’10 and Jen Oesterling ’10 said that it was their “favorite date place,” and were devastated to learn of its closing. Some campus favorites included the shrimp-pasta, frico del angelo, as well as tortellini de la casa, swan cream pasta and the trio of desserts. Dawkins said it was very nice – “classy but comfortable” – and she loved “the atmosphere and the ambience.”