Riazzi’s Italian Garden in Tempe closes after 72 years, to be replaced by Quartiere?

BY Jess Harter Tuesday, August 15, 2017

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Riazzi’s Italian Garden in Tempe has closed after 72 years in business.

Mary Pacinelli moved from Pennsylvania to the Valley in 1945 and opened the restaurant with her youngest daughter, Emma Riazzi.

The original location was at 15th Avenue and McDowell in Phoenix, but after two years the restaurant moved east to 53rd Street and Van Buren, where it thrived for four decades.

Displaced by freeway construction in 1989, Riazzi’s – by then owned by Emma’s son James and run by James’ children James Jr. and Debra – moved to its final location on Mill Avenue, halfway between Broadway and Southern.

RiazzisExterior081517

State records show East Valley restaurateur Erick Geryol has applied for a liquor license for a new restaurant called Quartiere at Riazzi’s location.

Geryol, who hasn’t responded to MXSW queries about Quartiere for the past two weeks, already owns three local restaurants: Boulders on Broadway and Spokes on Southern in Tempe and Boulders on Southern in Mesa.

Quartiere would be his fourth.

Quartiere, by the way, is derived from the Italian word quarto, or “fourth.’’

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