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Popular Village Pizza closes after 32 years on Queen Street

August 4, 2021   ·   0 Comments

It’s the end of an era in Tottenham.

After 32 years on Queen Street, Bernice Augusto, owner of Village Pizza Restaurant and Baja Luna Lounge, has closed her restaurant and will retiring from the restaurant business.

She won’t be sitting idle though – Bernice has a lot of things planned over the coming years.

Bernice has the distinction of being the longest-standing restaurant owner in town.

Entering the restaurant business was somewhat of a happy accident for Bernice. She was a customer of the restaurant before she made the decision to buy the business.

“I came in to buy a pizza and Joe the owner said, ‘Hey, you’re in real estate, do you know anyone who wants to buy the place?’” she said of getting into the restaurant business. “I took my pizza home, called my girlfriend, and we bought the place. It was my first commercial real estate deal, and I put the papers together and bought it that day.”

She was a risk taker. Other than a former job as waitress at Swiss Chalet in high school, she didn’t have any restaurant experience.

There were six owners to begin with – three couples.

Over the next few years, the other partners began to leave. Bernice took over the entire operation 1999.

The business was almost done when their lease was due, but she had the business savvy to buy the building the keep the restaurant going.

She added on to the existing building to create the lounge with a patio at the rear of the building.

After being in business for 32 years, Bernice said there will be many things about the restaurant she will miss.

“Everything, I’m sure. I won’t miss dealing with the government. It’s going to hit me hard – my brain still gets ideas about the restaurant. I’m retiring, I’ll be working on my property for the first year or two. Then hopefully doing some travelling.”

The restaurant building has been sold.

There’s a chance a new restaurant will be opening in the location, but that has not been confirmed.

A lot of people will miss Bernice and Village Pizza but of course every enterprise comes to an end sooner or later.

Bernice can now enjoy other endeavours and take some time to relax.

By Brian Lockhart
Local Journalism Initiative Reporter


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