Arrivederci: Richmond bids farewell to one of its most beloved restaurants, Mamma Zu

Aug 26, 2021 430

BY: Eileen Mellon

Twenty-seven years ago, second-generation Italian American Ed Vasaio opened Mamma Zu restaurant at the corner of South Pine and Spring streets in Oregon Hill. To someone unfamiliar, the inconspicuous brick eatery with a hunter green door and faded cursive signage could have appeared abandoned, but the pungent smell of garlic and lines of eager patrons down the block spoke differently, as did the tiny window on the side of the restaurant that offered a glimpse into the Italian refuge, a soft amber glow cast over the dining room.

After the restaurant had been closed for the entirety of the pandemic, a “For Lease” sign appeared on the Mamma Zu building on Monday, Aug. 9, silencing whispers about its closure that had been circulating for months. 

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