Nick Felicella of Nick’s Spaghetti House has passed away

Those familiar with Vancouver’s restaurant history surely remember Nick’s Spaghetti House.

The Italian restaurant with the iconic yellow signage operated on Commercial Drive for an impressive 62 years before closing in 2017.

Nick Felicella, who passed away this past weekend, was the founder and namesake of this longtime legendary spot.

The news was shared by his nephew, Guy Felicella, over Twitter on January 22.

Tough day, I found out my uncle Nick passed away yesterday. If you lived in Vancouver, then you knew of East Vans iconic Nick’s Spaghetti House. Thanks for all the memories and for always keeping it real!” Felicella shared.

The 631 Commercial Drive space became Pepino’s Spaghetti House in 2018, which has carried on Nick’s legacy, albeit with a slightly more upscale approach.

Pepino’s also shared a heartfelt tribute to Nick, who said that it owed a debt of gratitude to Nick for “establishing such an iconic locale for “red sauce” Italian in Vancouver’s Little Italy.”

“He left huge shoes to fill, and his legacy will live on in the hearts and bellies of all who passed through the front door of his restaurant,” the note continued.

Nick’s Spaghetti House was an East Vancouver institution, serving classic Italian-American–style dishes like its famous spaghetti and meatballs.

The restaurant, and Nick at its helm, was a mainstay of Vancouver’s Little Italy neighbourhood and a holdover of an earlier era of the city’s restaurant scene.

Nick and his restaurant’s legacy endures, memorialized in Pepino’s entryway tile tribute and in the memories of all those who once dined there.

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