End of an era as Casanova restaurant, Crookes, Sheffield, up for sale after 25 years

He runs one of Sheffield’s oldest restaurants.

But the owner of Casanova restaurant, in Crookes, has announced plans to sell up after a quarter of a century running the well-known venue.

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Salvatore Ilardi first opened his business there in July 1997, but has decided to call it a day at the age of 67.

The owner of Casanova restaurant, in Crookes, Salvatore Ilardi, has announced plans to sell up after a quarter of a century running the well-known venue.

Today, a notice in the window reveals plans to move on. It states: “Business for sale due to retirement.”

Mr Ilardi, who is originally from Sicily but moved to Britain in the 1970s, said it had been a hard decision to sell up.

He hopes the buyer will continue with the site as a restaurant, but thinks it is also possible it could also become a wine bar or coffee bar.

He said: “It would be lovely if someone locally who is involved in catering could keep it in the community as a restaurant. Once you sell, you don’t know for certain.

Casanova restaurant, in Crookes

“But this has been a big chunk of my life. I’m 67 and I first came here when I was 42, so it has been a third of my life, and I have many good memories here.

“Catering is hard work, and I’m not open every day now. We used to be open until 10.30pm, and we’re open until 9.30pm now.

“Prior to that, I was only shut on one day, and that was for my 50th birthday, because it was a big birthday.

The owner of Casanova restaurant, in Crookes, Salvatore Ilardi, has announced plans to sell up after a quarter of a century running the well-known venue.

“There have been ups and downs, We’ve survived a recession, the credit crunch, and a pandemic, and Brexit made it more difficult to get staff.

“My hope is that someone comes in and makes an offer that means I can pass it on. It will be a good business for someone. It’s a good premises and it needs someone with new ideas. It needs someone with energy.”

He said he would like to take the opportunity to go travelling when he has sold up, and is particularly keen to visit his mother again in Italy, having not seen her since before the pandemic.

The premises had previously been Santino’s restaurant, and it also underwent a big refurbishment in 2005.

Casanova restaurant, in Crookes, as it looked before its refurbishment in 2005