FORMER Pompey manager Harry Redknapp has recalled his happy memories of the Pizza House after the popular restaurant shut its doors.
Harry, who led the Blues to FA Cup glory in 2008 and promotion to the Premier League in 2003, spoke of the good times he had in the Pizza House in Hilsea with ex-chairman Milan Mandaric and Pompey players during his two stints as boss at Fratton Park.
As reported this week, the Pizza House has closed and been turned into offices for care company Elite Care Services, after the restaurant’s lovable owner Giuseppe Mascia retired aged 65.
Harry said: ‘What I can say about the Pizza House?
‘We used to enjoy going there, we celebrated getting promotion there. That’s where Milan took all the team and everybody else to celebrate getting promoted in to the Premier League.
‘That’s where we celebrated and we had a good night.
‘I don’t know if the teams would go to somewhere like the Pizza House now to celebrate getting promotion, – they’d probably go to a big posh hotel.
‘But we had a great night at the Pizza House and Giuseppe was a great guy. We had some great nights there and I wish him well in his retirement.’
Hundreds of people have reacted with sadness at the news of closure of the restaurant, in London Road, and posted on The News’ Facebook page.
Mandy Tate said: ‘I loved this restaurant when I worked there years ago as one of the many plate washers. Giuseppe and Massimo were lovely people and the atmosphere in the place was fab, so sad to see it closed, best of luck for the future for the whole family xxx’
Annie Jones said: ‘Such a shame! Was a lovely restaurant with lovely staff. I worked here for a while and was looked after. They always made sure we got home safely at the end of our shift! Happy retirement Guiseppe and Massimo!!! Xx’
Natalie Cawte said: ‘Such a shame! My parents went to the restaurant when they were my age, and now me and my boyfriend went there. Such a shame it’s closing, it had a fantastic atmosphere which was completed by Giuseppe!’
Lesley J Wright said: ‘Sad that it’s closed. Giuseppe was a real character and probably the loudest person I’ve ever known. Happy retirement to the man himself x’
Rob O’Kane said: ‘We were sat next to Milan Mandaric when he was at Pompey with all the Inter Milan directors, was a great place to eat. Such a mad environment in the nicest possible way.’
Alex Wooll said: ‘I still remember coming here with my family and my mum asking for some water, and he shouted “JUG OF WATER FOR THE BEAUTIFUL LADYYYYYY”. Giuseppe is a legend.’