Leicester

Leicester's Italian cafe closes after 82 years

Shop front of Brucciani's Image copyright Brucciani
Image caption Shop front of Brucciani's Horsefair Street cafe

Tearful staff and customers have marked the last day of an Italian cafe business affectionately known as a Leicester "icon".

Brucciani has been in the city since 1937, but is closing due a fall in custom.

Luigi Brucciani set up the first shop in Horsefair Street before moving to Fox Lane and Churchgate.

The business said it was an "incredibly difficult" decision but they were "overwhelmed" by the affection shown.

Image copyright Brucciani
Image caption The business's website shows Luigi Brucciani with cafes old and new

The business ran two cafes and a bakery in the city, employing around 50 people.

Luigi's grandson Tom Brucciani said the decision had been made because of a decline in cafe sales meant a necessary refurbishment of the bakery was not viable.

"We wanted to go in a manner of our choosing, with no one unpaid, preserving the nice reputation we have made.

"The staff have been amazing, they've said 'let's make the best end we can make' and we've had so many lovely messages and the staff have welled up a few times," he said.

On the business's Facebook page, customer Lisa Emily said: "It honestly is the saddest thing that we're saying goodbye to such a Leicester icon."

Image copyright Brucciani
Image caption Brucciani's coffee shop in 1977

Another customer Rita White said: "We come every week and always bring grandchildren, great grandchildren and they look forward to the cream buns.

"I thought I had shares in the company the amount of times I come. [It is] very sad."

The Brucciani family left Italy about 200 years ago to settle in Scotland to sell ice cream, before heading to Lancashire.

There, Luigi Brucciani left his brothers and set up in Leicester to establish his new coffee shop.

Image copyright Brucciani
Image caption The cafes are remembered by many for childhood weekend ice cream treats

A painting of Claudio Ranieri was attached to the wall of Brucciani's craft bakery building on Bath Lane, in 2016, to celebrate Leicester City's Premier League title.

It has since been removed to protect it from damage.

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