IT was a family restaurant adored by food lovers across Portsmouth.
Now The Pizza House, in London Road, Hilsea, and its creative dishes live on through a new venture just two doors down from the former Italian venue.
Everyone in the city knows my dad. You can’t go very far without anyone knowing a story about him.Christian Mascia
Former Pizza House owner Giuseppe Mascia sold his pride and joy in July last year to enjoy his retirement at the age of 65.
Now his son Christian, 37, has opened restaurant Casa Sarda and serving his dad’s famous recipes.
There’s also a range of Mediterranean cuisine, tapas dishes and cocktails available.
Despite having a Masters degree in politics, Christian, of Hilsea, said that he was always drawn back to the restaurant industry because it was in his blood.
The dad-of-one said: ‘I remember carrying bread baskets for my dad from when I was about five.
‘Everyone in the city knows my dad. You can’t go very far without anyone knowing a story about him.
‘People have stopped me in the street asking me; “what am I going to do now?” because we had generations of customers.’
The Pizza House served thousands of people with its tasty Italian dishes – including former Prime Minister David Cameron and Pompey boss Harry Redknapp.
Its giant pepper mill and Giuseppe’s charm and banter was known throughout the city.
Formerly a cafe and deli, Casa Sarda underwent a renovation worth tens of thousands of pounds.
It’s open for breakfast, dinner and lunch.
Christian added: ‘The culture has changed from when The Pizza House opened in the 1970s.
‘It could fit in hundreds of people and customers would sit for hours eating and drinking until the early hours.
‘Here, people can pop in and have a drink at the bar, or have some tapas before moving on somewhere else.’
Christian hopes to open a restaurant in Southsea in the future. But he said: ‘We are established here, we have a lot of regulars and I am a Hilsea boy. We will get this one up and running and then go from there.’