Tasty memories of a touch of Italy in Hartlepool

Another view of the Hartlepool  venue.
Another view of the Hartlepool venue.

A little bit of Italy came to Hartlepool in 1994 and we wanted to know what Mail readers remembered of it.

The Church Street restaurant Joe Rigatoni meant a new lease of life for a building which had stood empty for some time.

Joe Rigatoni in Hartlepool.

Joe Rigatoni in Hartlepool.

When we posted a photograph of it on social media, it reached more than 10,000 of you.

And what a great mix of memories you had of the place which served mainly Italian cuisine as well as some English dishes.

Lisa Fisher said: “I worked here for two years. It was my second home. Fab atmosphere. Xx.”

Thanks also to Victoria White who said it was the place where she got her first job.

I worked here for two years. It was my second home. Fab atmosphere. Xx.

Lisa Fisher

Kathleen Verrall commented: “We had few works Xmas parties there.,” and added: “We had some good nights.”

Sandra Robson Clark recalled going there for a birthday while Joanne Clarke Clare Dougherty said: “I’m sure we went here a few times back in the day.”

David Frank said: “Yeah used to enjoy it” and Lesley Hanlon said: “We had a lovely evening.”

Thanks also to Natasha Jackson who remembered: “First proper date with my now hubby Bob Jackson.”

Caroline Linda J even remembered the meal she had on one visit, and said: “Potato skins with garlic mayo.”

Debbie Simmons was another to have great memories of the place and said: “We loved it and went as often as we could.”

The new lease of life for the building which had stood empty for so long was down to Paolo Arceri.

He was the owner manager and the man who completely refurbished a once-vacated premises.

A Hartlepool Mail story in 1994 told how restaurants were in his family’s blood as his father was a restaurateur, and his brothers and sisters all ran restaurants in the region.

Our story at the time also told how the split-level restaurant could seat 80 to 90 people.

Another to respond to our social media post was Paolo Arceri who explained more about the photograph we shared, and said: “That was the bar upstairs not the restaurant downstairs.”

Our thanks go to Paolo and everyone else who responded to the post.

We also thank all those who liked the photograph on social media, including Susie Doxford, Michael Corser, Marion Garnier, Carole Carter, Joan Mcalroy, Kirsty Watson, David Gibson, Nicola Smith, Fay Stewart and Zoe Hampton.

We would love even more people to share their own nostalgic memories of Hartlepool.

Get in touch and tell us all about your own special recollections of bygone Hartlepool, by emailing chris.cordner@jpress.co.uk.