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Michael Anticoli opens up about the closing of his restaurant, La Piazza, and the end of an 87-year family history

La Piazza — founded and owned by a member of the longest continually operating restaurant family in the Miami Valley — shut its doors for good at the close of business Saturday night, Feb. 3.

And now La Piazza owner Michael Anticoli is reflecting on the significance of the closure -- and hinting at what’s to come.

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Located at 2 N. Market St. on Troy’s town square, La Piazza was launched by Michael and Jennifer Anticoli in 1992, and celebrated its 25th anniversary last year.

Michael Anticoli’s grandparents opened a restaurant called “The Rendezvous” at 1511 E. Fifth St. in Dayton in 1931. They operated the restaurant in East Dayton for two decades, renaming it “Anticoli’s” a few years before moving the business to Salem Avenue north of town. There, Anticoli’s grew in popularity and size, hitting its heyday under the direction of the founders’ children, including Michael’s father Leo. Leo himself would go on to operate Caffe Anticoli in Clayton and Giuliano’s Anticoli Tavern in Miamisburg before retiring at age 80 in June 2015.

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“Being the last operating member of my family's 87-year restaurant history creates a feeling of importance but it also helps me put it into perspective,” Anticoli told this news outlet on the day his restaurant shut down for good. “I want to feel as if I've done my name proud and know that, as I leave, I was able to make a contribution to the effort that began so long ago.”

La Piazza in Troy, Ohio. (Maria Norman for Dayton.com)

 “I'm sure that if you could go back in time to 1931 and ask my grandparents as they opened our first place, if they could imagine that 87 years later a direct member of their family would still be carrying it on, they would be surprised -- and hopefully proud. Those were the depression years and they dug in. That grit and determination has served me well. I've experienced everything there is in this business.... the ups, downs, and everything in between.” 

>> RELATED: Beer, wine and deals part of restaurant’s 25th anniversary celebration (April 2017)

“I've been in this business in some form for over 35 years and I've enjoyed it all,” Anticoli said. “I've been involved in different aspects of the various restaurants operated by my family through the years and I've spent the past 25+ years in downtown Troy. Everyone is different obviously, but for me, I've been contemplating this for some time.”

La Piazza’s patio. Contributed photo by Alexis Larsen

“Our 25-year anniversary was a year of reflection on what we've done here, what we've meant to our community, and the impact it has had in the lives of my guests. There was a natural progression over that time in feeling that I've done all I wanted to do as an independent owner/operator.” 

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In the future, Anticoli said, “Consulting is something I enjoy and that will no doubt be a part of what's next. The knowledge and experience that comes from doing what I do for such a long time is something that can be valuable for the operators of today. And for those familiar with our house dressing... that's not going away.”

>> RELATED: Anticoli’s Giuliano Tavern to shut doors June 7 (May 2015)

The property that housed La Piazza is now for sale. The asking price for the property is $995,000, according to its online listing.

>> RELATED: Former Anticoli restaurant closed for decades could be reborn (January 2017)

Owner Michael Anticoli looks out a window in his downtown Troy restaurant La Piazza as he stands in front of a faux wall painting in one of the dining areas. (Jim Witmer)

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