ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. (KRQE) –  A popular Italian restaurant on Albuquerque’s west side has been closed since April because of the pandemic and customers are wondering if they’ll ever be reopening.

For five months the neon open sign that hangs in the window at Mimmo’s Italian restaurant on Coors and Sequoia, has been dim. “We’re just trying to stay healthy, that’s what is important. If you’re sick you can’t work,” said Sal Cerami the owner of Mimmo’s.

The extended closure has a lot of customers missing their food. “You think about it, you get that craving and you can’t satisfy it, it’s a bummer,” said Gage Bustos. Bustos says he’s been eating at Mimmo’s since he was a little kid, and he loves their lasagna.

At a time when so many local restaurants are struggling to stay open, a lot of loyal customers are wondering what the future holds for their favorite pizza and pasta spot. Cerami says, not to worry; he will be reopening.

He says he and his business partner Mimmo chose to temporarily close the restaurant at the beginning of the pandemic because of safety concerns. Shortly after, he says Mimmo retired, leaving the restaurant in his hands. He says the closure has been challenging but it’s given him a chance to remodel.

Now that it’s his, he’ll be changing the name, “It looks like it’s going to be called Sal’s,” said Cerami. He says the food and family-friendly vibe will be the same.

Cerami says he hopes the remodel is complete and he can reopen by December 1. He says he’s not sure the popular buffet will make a return.

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