Shut Down For Speaking Up

A Madrid dream for two Italian restaurant entrepeneurs goes sour due to their landlord´s decision.

Giorgia and Carlo from Rome arrived in Madrid with their children in 2018 with a dream to set up a small restaurant based on freshly made authentic Roman cuisine.

Within a year, they opened ‘La Pasteria 55’ in the Guillermo de Osma Municipal Market in Legazpi, converting a frozen food stall into a little corner of Italy. “We really liked the idea of being part of a market so that we could use the fresh products that we have on hand as well as ingredients that come from Italy” Giorgia says.

Ranked by Con El Morro Fino as one of the best places in Madrid to eat pasta, Carlo and Giorgia have worked extremely hard to make the place a moderate success, including having to struggle through the Covid lockdown only nine months after they first opened, the hyperinflation of the past year, and dealing with the fact that more than half of the posts in the market are empty. Strong praise for the restaurant has also come from TimeOut, Expansión, Canal Cocina, MadridDiferente and the popular food site Eat Walk Die, which described it asa temple to pasta.

Carlo prepares all the food himself, including a mouth-watering porchetta, tagliatelle al ragù, an authentic Roman carbonara (with guanciale and pecorino), and several seafood plates. Each Tuesday he prepares the various fresh egg pastas (tagliatelle, rigatoni, fusilli…) and then turns them into richly delicious dishes.

However, in a devastating turn, they were recently informed that Rya Residencias S.L., concessionaire of the Guillermo de Osma Municipal Market, would not renew their license and they would have to vacate the post by February 2024.

Stunned by the news and being refused any explanation, they can only assume that it is related to their repeated requests for greater transparency from the concessionaire regarding the money they were being charged and the obligations it has in managing the market. “It got so bad”, says Giorgia, “that last year we had to ask the Madrid City Council’s Trade Office to intervene in the dispute.”

The intervention resulted in the creation of a communal seating area and the setting up of the website and social networks for the market, but they weren’t able to get greater clarity on management fees and other costs each stall holder has to pay.

“We understand that Rya Residencias S.L. is not obliged to renew our contract and its decision is completely legal”, she adds, “but we are amazed that the company prefers to create another empty stall, rather than support and encourage the ones that are working well. Plus, we are worried about our colleagues, the other stall holders.”

They will be open during the holiday season and right through until the end of February. It may be the last opportunity for MM readers to try their wonderful Roman cuisine. They currently don’t have the financial resources to start over, Giorgia admits, due to the substantial costs of fitting out a restaurant and obtaining licenses, and feel they have no choice but to abandon (at least for now) the dream that originally brought them to Madrid.


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