By Lethbridge Herald on August 19, 2015.
No more gnocchi will be served at Coco Pazzo. The popular Italian restaurant on 3 Avenue South was closed without notice on Monday night, leaving employees without jobs and customers shaking their heads.
Formerly Treviâ€™s, Coco Pazzo was a popular place to eat for more than 20 years. Tony Rose and his partners sold the business in October 2014.
A sign taped to the outside of the door states, â€œIt is with heavy heart that we say that Coco Pazzo will be closed indefinitely,â€ signed Coco staff.
Phone calls to the restaurant rang unanswered.
According to a former employee, an email was sent by the owner to staff stating â€œthey were done.â€
A post on the businessâ€™ Facebook page reads, â€œLarry, the current owner of CoCo Pazzo, has decided to close our beloved restaurant which was a second home to many of us. Thanks to anyone who was employed here at one time or another and thanks to the many, many customers who graced our doors, your patronage was always welcome.â€
Comments on the Facebook page from former customers and employees expressed disbelief and sadness at the restaurantâ€™s closure.
Some employees are wondering if they will receive their final paycheques and customers are looking for refunds on recently purchased gift certificates.
According to Alberta Employment Standards, if an employee feels they have not received pay they are entitled to, they can lodge a complaint.
Resolution of the dispute must first be attempted directly with the employer. If unsuccessful, complaints may be submitted within six months of termination of employment. Complaints can be filed online at http://www.work.alberta.ca under Employment Standards. Or by calling toll-free 1â€‘877â€‘427â€‘3731.
Leah Brownridge, marketing and communications co-ordinator for the Better Business Bureau (BBB), said those who have unused gift certificates may be out of luck.
â€œIt really depends on that business,â€ said Brownridge. â€œThereâ€™s a few things that can happen. Unfortunately, those gift cards may in fact just be worthless from now on, which is really a shame.â€
Sometimes a competitor may accept that gift card to help patrons out, she explained, even though they are not associated with the closed business.
â€œWe do encourage people when buying or receiving gift cards to ask what happens if they go out of business. Ideally itâ€™s most helpful for consumers to find out ahead of time before they purchase gift cards… so they know where a business stands on that kind of situation.â€
A consumer could file a complaint with the BBB, which then contacts the business to attempt to resolve it. However, Brownridge said itâ€™s dependent on the business to acknowledge and respond to those complaints. If itâ€™s an accredited business, they have made a commitment to do so.
â€œIf theyâ€™re not accredited, then if they donâ€™t answer, that really limits what BBB can do.â€
Coco Pazzo is not listed as accredited with the BBB.