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Italian chain restaurant Bertucci's closes in Melville

Margherita pizza, made with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce,

Margherita pizza, made with fresh mozzarella, tomato sauce, romano cheese and fresh basil in front of the wood fired brick oven at Bertucci's in Melville, now closed. Photo Credit: Daniel Brennan

Melville’s Bertucci’s, the last Long Island outpost of the popular brick-oven pizza restaurant chain, has closed. A statement released Monday by the Northborough, Massachusetts-based company confirmed the Italian eatery’s closure at 881 Walt Whitman Rd.

Bertucci’s, which rose to popularity on the strength of its brick-oven pizzas and generous portions of pastas, began in 1981 with a single restaurant in Somerville, Massachusetts. That success eventually led to more than 100 East Coast and Midwest locations, including three on the island until January 2017, when the Westbury Bertucci’s shuttered after a 24-year run. At that time, a company spokesman told Newsday that there were no plans to close its remaining two locations.

A little more than a year later, however, Bertucci’s filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, immediately closing 15 restaurants, including the location in Hauppauge.

With the Melville closure, the company now has just 57 restaurants remaining. Bertucci’s, like other moderately priced full-service restaurants, has found itself losing market share over the past few years, as consumers have increasingly directed their dollars to fast-casual establishments.

“Bertucci’s in Melville values its guests and thanks them for their patronage,” concluded the company’s brief statement. Long Islanders will now need to travel to locations in Connecticut or New Jersey to get a Bertucci’s fix.

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