Owner cites workload as reason for Frankie’s Diner closure

NANAIMO – Frankie’s serves final meals while Fibber Magees plans to reopen in September.

One popular restaurant and a neighbourhood restaurant-style pub are off the menu in Nanaimo.

Frankie’s Modern Diner, which opened in September 2013 took its final customer orders Wednesday.

The diner, located in Nored Plaza in north Nanaimo, specialized in modern diner cuisine and after only nine months in business won first place in the News Bulletin’s 2014 Best of the City Overall Best Restaurant category.

Owner Frankie Naccarato opened the diner after operating Moxie’s Restaurant in the same location since 1995.

“It took off really well and I think a lot of people enjoyed it, and we managed to increase business substantially,” Naccarato said.

The heavy work load means Naccarato is away from his home and family in Victoria almost full-time.

“It got to the point now where I don’t get away at all,” he said.

Naccarato is looking for someone to buy the diner and then he is going to take some time off for a rest before deciding what he will pursue next in Victoria. The decision to close the diner was announced to the general public Tuesday on the restaurant’s Facebook page, but Naccarato said his staff were the first to be informed several weeks ago.

Fibber Magees Irish pub, which opened in the Nanaimo train station on Selby Street in July 2012, will close its doors Aug. 16.

Jane Ivans, one of the principals in the family-owned business, said the pub name and format will be gone, but the business will reopen under a new name and format in early September.

“There is another restaurant coming here and we’re involved in the new restaurant that’s coming,” Ivans said. “A new restaurant will be opening around about the first week of September, so we can’t really say too much about what’s coming. We’re doing a bit of company reorganization.”

The changeover does not affect the family’s other restaurant-style pubs, the Fox and Hound in Ladysmith and the Black Goose Inn in Parksville, which Ivans said are operated as separate business entities.