Today marks the last day of service for BICE Ristorante, the long-tenured upscale Italian restaurant that moved into the Gaslamp at the corner of 4th and Island nine years ago. In a heartfelt email sent this morning to its patrons, friends and family, executive chef/partner Mario Cassineri announced BICE’s immediate closure, attributing it to the pressures related to operating a higher-end restaurant in the downtown area.
In an excerpt of the letter, Cassineri shared:
Unfortunately, fine dining does not have the draw it once had. This reality, combined with unforgiving leases and the rising cost of labor, brought us to a very difficult decision. We are simply unable to continue to provide our guests with the dining experience BICE was created to provide.
Before moving to San Diego to launch BICE, the chef worked closely with its parent restaurant group which was first founded in Milan, Italy and now operates locations for Italian fine dining around the globe. Cassineri is still entrenched in the local restaurant scene through his involvement with Madison on Park in University Heights and partnership in Liberty Station’s bustling Officine Buona Forchetta. He and Buona Forchetta owner Matteo Cattaneo reportedly also have future collaborations in the works.