A North End pizza shop owned by Nick Varano of Strega has closed its doors for good after nearly a decade of cooking pies in a 1,000-degree brick oven.
It isn’t immediately clear when Rina’s Pizzeria, located on Hanover Street, served its last pizza, but the shop announced on Instagram Jan. 12 that it was closed.
The announcement also teased that another concept was in the works.
“We said goodbye to Rina’s Pizzeria, but will be saying hello to something new and exciting soon,” read the post on Instagram.
Varano, who opened Strega on Hanover Street in 2003, used to own several other restaurants. But he sold off most of those restaurants to the investment firm Danu Partners in 2020.
“I have nothing in the wheelhouse right now,” Varano told Boston magazine at the time of the sale. “Just to spend some time with family and friends. Just have an espresso every morning and relax for a little while.”
Under the Varano Group, he still owns Italian restaurants Strega and Nico’s and has a stake in Fratelli’s at Encore Boston Harbor.
The larger-than-life owner’s restaurants are known for attracting A-list clientele — Strega is where Mariah Carey grabbed a bite after her Boston leg of the “Merry Christmas One And All!” tour, for example — and for serving classic Italian dishes in glitzy spaces. Rina’s, however, was much more casual: a counter-service pizzeria with Neapolitan pies, giant sandwiches, and pasta on paper or plastic plates.
After its opening, the restaurant was listed as one of The Boston Globe’s 50 Best New Restaurants in 2016.
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