Stockbridge waves farewell as fish & chip pair call it a day

A CORNER of Stockbridge has ushered in the end of an era as the community said a fond farewell to brothers Ernesto (Nino) and Franco Alonzi of Franco's Fish & Chips after 46 years.
Franco, Pino & Nino. Picture: ContributedFranco, Pino & Nino. Picture: Contributed
Franco, Pino & Nino. Picture: Contributed

Susannah of Stockbridge Local, met up with the brothers for breakfast at The Scran & Scallie. They were overwhelmed by the community reaction to them retiring and enjoyed sharing some special memories collected over the years.

Nino said: “We’ve appreciated all the custom over the years, some regulars and some well-known names. We’ve had a special relationship with local schools, including Broughton High and Fettes.

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“I can assure customers the quality of service and standard of food will continue under Mr Giuseppe (Pino) Vita who leases the business from us with the help of his family, in particular his 22 year-old son, Ricardo. Pino has over 25 years catering experience and run an Italian restaurant in Tollcross. We’ve have had the pleasure of knowing Pino for a number of years as he worked for us in the San Marco kitchen from 1994 -1998.

Franco's daughter with Tom Kitchin. Picture: ContributedFranco's daughter with Tom Kitchin. Picture: Contributed
Franco's daughter with Tom Kitchin. Picture: Contributed

“Initially I will swing by a few times a week to help Pino out and I will enjoy seeing many familiar faces walking down Raeburn Place. My son Vincenzo (Vinny), who recently got married and moved to America, has also been at the forefront of our business over recent years. We have fantastic memories and will be sad to say cheerio.”

Nino then went on to describe the change they had seen in Stockbridge over the years, initially they were surrounded by shoe shops, a dairy, now Mr Acram’s, a bank, clothes shop, a chemist and a toy shop.

In all the years he worked there, Nino doesn’t recall their father ever taking a day off.

He said, now there are a number of fine establishments, including the popular Raeburn across the road, Rollo and The Pastry Section, which only opened its doors recently and he enjoyed going in for a lovely coffee and pastry each morning.

Nino. Picture: ContributedNino. Picture: Contributed
Nino. Picture: Contributed

Restauranteur and Michelin starred chef Tom Kitchin was full of praise for Franco’s and wished the brothers all the best for the future.

“Franco’s is a firm favourite in Stockbridge and over the years, the family-run business has become a real part of the community. Many people have a lot of fond memories of Franco’s - of the friendly welcome and some of the best chip butties in the city! I know I won’t be alone in wishing Franco and Nino all the best.”

This quote is typical of the very large number of positive comments received.

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New owner ‘Pino’ Vita said he was keen to get started and reassured existing customers that the well-established Franco’s name would stay.

Vinny. Picture: ContributedVinny. Picture: Contributed
Vinny. Picture: Contributed

“I’m excited to take on this new challenge now my family have grown up. I intend on keeping the name, Franco’s and giving the place of a bit of a face-lift.

“We already source our fish from Armstrong’s across the road and I’m hoping to introduce burgers with beef from George Bower’s Butchers, just a few doors down, along with doing chicken kebabs. We look forward to welcoming you and are delighted to be part of the Stockbridge community and continue to be a part of Stockbridge Local where we are celebrating taking over the management by offering everyone a free can of juice with every supper and have 3 pairs of fish suppers to give away - visit Stockbridge Local for details.”

Please note: The Edinburgh Evening News reported - incorrectly - on 24 June that Franco’s was closing. We would like to apologise for the error and wish Mr Vita and his family all the best in their new venture.

Susannah Morgan runs Stockbridge Local which promotes independent businesses in Stockbridge, Edinburgh through exclusive events, offers and competitions.