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Thursday, August 20, 2015

Emeryville Institution, Bucci's to Close

Emeryville's Premiere Restaurant 
Serves its Last Meal

"When you get to be our age and still in good health after working this hard in this business, it's time to move on to the next journey"- Amelia Bucci.

Amelia Bucci
The venerable Bucci's, an Emeryville family dining institution featuring "Italian soul food", will close it doors for good on September 30th, and the three partners who built the popular destination eatery will retire after 27 years they announced this week.  Diners expressed dismay; many of them brought their children and now grandchildren to the restaurant, especially the very popular annual Christmas tree lighting celebration which featured complimentary dinners and hands on pizza making for young people.

Partner and restaurant baker Paul Camardo, summed it up, "Bucci's was conceived as a place for a community of like minded people to share our passion for good food",  but he added, it's time to close..."Better the restaurant fail than we do".
Paul Camardo

Ms Bucci, who insists she be simply called Bucci, emphasized Emeryville's recently passed Minimum Wage Ordinance had nothing to do with the closure.  Heading off any untoward speculation, she noted "The new minimum wage law is not the reason we're closing " she said definitively adding Bucci's supports Emeryville's minimum wage.

Egged on by friends, the three partners, friends themselves, opened Bucci's in what's now the Public Market on Shellmound Street amidst a lot of construction as the food court there was being rebuilt in 1987...a rough start.  By the end of 1988, however they moved to the more upscale digs on Hollis Street after hiring lauded Emeryville based set designer, the late Jeremy Hamm, to build the iconic new facilities.
Les Julian

The partners, all Berkeley residents, will be selling the restaurant's assets and it is expected a new restaurant will open on the site but nothing has been determined yet.  "Rich is committed to keeping it as a restaurant" Bucci said, referring to landlord Rich Robbins of Wareham Development.

After closing, Bucci said she'd be taking a vacation to...where else? Italy.  But as to her next adventure, after a 27 year stint in the harried restaurant business, Bucci shot back, "Can I get two weeks off?"


  1. No...please, no! I love Bucci's.

  2. Oh, my goodness! My Family and I will miss Bucci but I wish her well!

  3. Sad to hear this. Truly the end of an era. Hat's off to the entire Bucci's crew. You'll be very much missed, but no one can accuse you all of not earning your retirement. Go enjoy! Hope to stop in before the curtain falls on 9/30.

  4. Rob Arias got it right ! Without profit, business goes down. Wage overhead, high now,
    is headed straight up. Why work your butt off for uncertainty? Good decision.

  5. Rob knows more that the restaurant owners themselves why they're closing their restaurant. Is that what your saying?

  6. Oh this is too bad. Thanks for reporting this news, even though it's not good news. Buccis is our best restaurant. I love the food and I love the vibe there. What's Rob Arias have to do with this? Why is he being discussed?

  7. I heard that Amelia is going to spend her time volunteering for TRUE AMERICAN DONALD TRUMP and his plan to make AMERICA GREAT again! With Donald leading our nation, we'll see wages go up, profits go up and taxes go down. It will be truly TERRIFIC times for every American.

    1. I guess we'll have to take your word for it.

  8. A shame indeed it's never easy watching the end of something that's been around for awhile. My hat goes off to the ppl for running the business for that time. From the insight of a young commuter resident who does not have time for a good healthy home type meal I hope they would bring something to fill the void between the specialty resteraunts and the not so special grease box food of the food court. I feel as majority of the new population in Emeryville we need something like this. A healthy choice after a long day. No one has time to drive around the healthier or trendy restaurants in Berkeley and oakland with no parking. AND you get tired of ordering in with again not so great choices. Our generation is busy and mostly health concious. I hope this is thought of with more apts just built and not much resteraunt reality space around. We need this.