Sapori, a charming Italian spot in Marina del Rey, quietly closed its doors after more than 20 years in business last week. According to one of the new owners, La Marina Trattoria has already taken over the space and will host a grand opening on Wednesday.
“They closed Monday and we got keys from the landlord on Tuesday,” said co-owner Nando Silvestri, who now helms the restaurant with his business partner Davide Lucchina.
Silvestri has had his eye on the Sapori location for many years. “As a kid growing up, I used to fish off of the docks out there. I eventually got into boating and had my boat in the marina, and I’d always have dinner at Sapori. Around a month ago, Stefano, the previous owner, finally decided it was time for him to retire and head back to Italy. That’s when I decided to make a move and ended up getting the space.”
Silvestri is passionate about maintaining Sapori’s history and clientele. As such, the menu will remain mostly the same with a few additions. The new owners also plan to eventually update the space and renovate and redesign the patio area.
Years ago, before their careers took off in separate directions, Silvestri opened his first restaurant with Lucchina. Now, more than three decades later, the pair has come back together to open the trattoria.
“Not many places in Southern California are on or near the water, so it was an opportunity I couldn’t pass up. The whole idea is to have my boat in the marina, and the commute to the restaurant is a five minute dinghy ride,” added Silvestri.
“Through my other restaurants, I’ve had employees working for me for many years, and with this new project I actually gave them the opportunity to also be a partner. So, the chef and the GM are both small partners. I love being able to give a share of this space to the guys that have been with me throughout the years,” concluded Silvestri.