The owner of Palazzo Giuseppe, a popular Italian restaurant located at 1010 Court St. in downtown San Luis Obispo, intends to move a few blocks away.
Owner Giuseppe “Joe” DiFronzo plans to relocate next year to the first floor of the historic Sinsheimer Bros. building at 847 Monterey St. and a one-story structure with a basement at the rear of the property currently occupied by Assets, a dance studio.
The restaurant would operate out of about 6,558 square feet, including both existing buildings and a courtyard area. DiFronzo said the space is about the same size as his current location, which he has occupied for 10 years. His lease expires in the middle of next year.
“We believe we have both found a great fit, and both of us are excited about the renovation and preservation of this beautiful piece of our downtown history,” DiFronzo said.
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He has already entered into a new lease for the Sinsheimer property, said Warren Sinsheimer, who declined to disclose the lease amount.
The two-story structure, built in 1884 and retrofitted in 2010, is still owned by the Sinsheimer family. The upstairs floor is fully occupied with office space, but the ground floor has not been occupied since 2008.
Sinsheimer said he’s been impressed with DiFronzo’s commitment to the community and to his restaurants.
“He has a strong sense of tradition,” Sinsheimer said. “He really cares deeply about the building.”
A use permit to allow late-hour alcohol services for the restaurant was approved at an administrative hearing Sept. 18. A use permit is required to allow a restaurant to serve alcohol after 11 p.m.
DiFronzo’s proposed hours of operation are the same as at his existing restaurant: from 11 a.m. to 12:30 a.m. Sunday through Thursday and 11 a.m. to 1:30 a.m. Friday and Saturday for restaurant use.
Building plans are being drawn up, he said. City planning staff will then determine whether any additional review is required before the move can take place, Assistant Planner Kyle Bell said.
“We will be using my same family tried-and-true dishes that I have since our humble beginnings as a Cal Poly senior project in 1988,” DiFronzo said. His son, Guiseppe, and daughter, Michella, remain involved in the restaurants as well.