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D’Arpino’s Cafe shutting down after 13 years

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After 13 years of serving the Springfield community at 3014 S. National Ave., D'Arpino's Italian Cafe is shutting down.

Owner Mark D'Arpino said this morning the restaurant will close after Sunday night, New Year's Eve, mostly because of personal health issues. He said for the last five years he's dealt with a bad sciatic nerve that's imparied his mobility. He's also dealt with a cancer diagnosis in the last year, though now after treatment, he said, he's cancer-free. 

"It has taken a toll and has made me unable to work as much as I used to work," he said, noting his wife and daughter have helped keep the restaurant running while they have covered for him. At 63 years old, D'Arpino will retire.

"It's not easy to walk away. We've loved every minute of it," he said.

D'Arpino said customers' responses to the closing have been emotional.

"I've had customers actually tear up," he said. "It's bittersweet, but it's time. I really want to thank all the people who supported us and came in and became friends and became family."

D'Arpino's son, Steve D'Arpino a year ago opened contemporary Italian restaurant Piccolo at 107 W. Aldersgate Drive, Stes. 1 and 2, in Nixa.

"He's following the D'Arpino's tradition, but he's put his own spin on it," Mark D'Arpino said.

Piccolo's menu posted online offers such dishes as mozzarella-stuffed meatballs, Sicilian-inspired nachos and spicy bloody mary pasta. D'Arpino said his son plans to incorporate some of D'Arpino's favorites, including cheese tortellini, chicken parmesan and the D'Arpino family marinara sauce.

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