YOU SAID IT: Solda’s leaves generations of memories for Port Alberni residents

Siblings Gianni, Susi and Ivo Solda celebrate the 50th anniversary of the restaurant their parents opened in 1969. Sonja Drinkwater photoSiblings Gianni, Susi and Ivo Solda celebrate the 50th anniversary of the restaurant their parents opened in 1969. Sonja Drinkwater photo
Elsie Mallon, left, the late Christina Mallon, Henny Vandam and Cosie Newton gather for a family luncheon at Solda’s Family Restaurant on July 12, 2018. They were celebrating Henny’s visit from Calgary. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Alberni Valley News)Elsie Mallon, left, the late Christina Mallon, Henny Vandam and Cosie Newton gather for a family luncheon at Solda’s Family Restaurant on July 12, 2018. They were celebrating Henny’s visit from Calgary. (SONJA DRINKWATER/ Alberni Valley News)
Old friends gather at Solda’s Family Restaurant and server Cindy Solda joins the group for the photo. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTOOld friends gather at Solda’s Family Restaurant and server Cindy Solda joins the group for the photo. SONJA DRINKWATER PHOTO

News that Solda’s Family Restaurant in Port Alberni is going to close after more than 50 years elicited a large collective reaction from residents and visitors alike.

The restaurant opened in 1969 after Anna (Mama) and Giovanni Solda purchased Betty’s Deep Fry on Third Avenue.

Although the restaurant has moved locations more than once—including a long stint in the Alberni Mall when it was an indoor mall—it remained a favourite with the regulars as well as families who frequented the establishment for special occasions.

Here are just a few of the memories patrons shared of their special times at Solda’s.

READ: Solda’s Family Restaurant celebrates 50 years in Port Alberni

READ: End of an era for Solda’s Family Restaurant in Port Alberni

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“I remember going to Solda’s on Third for pizza when I was a teenager, then going to the mall location too! I believe they did delivery too in the ’80s, not sure.”

Donna Dornian

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“Had my first slice of pizza EVER in 1975 at Solda’s when they were on Third Avenue—ham and pineapple! Our grandkids love going to Solda’s for silver dollar pancakes and grilled cheese sandwiches. You will definitely be missed!”

— Liz Cheetham

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“Sad to see the end of this family restaurant—our family has been gathering there for many years…wonderful diverse menu for a family gathering. The staff treats their clients fabulously. Sad for our family and others BUT totally understand the family’s point of view. We wish the Solda family only the very best in retirement.”

Patricia McDowall

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“The mall restaurant was a favourite for sure. I have only been to the current location a few times due to not living there in some time, but good memories over the years for sure!”

Cara Baldwin

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“Oooh! The fries with gravy AND ketchup!”

Kari Chase McNabb

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“It will be missed. From having lunch when I worked in South Port to having lunch with my parents at the mall, now having special dinners with friends and family. Wishing Cindy and family all the best.”

Marilyn Burrows

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“It’s sad to lose this iconic restaurant. Thank you for all the good food and good service. No one in my opinion made the pizza as well as Solda’s. You will be missed but I’m happy for you.”

Kelly J. Markin

“Loved it when they were in the mall. Left PA before they moved to the hold Chopstick House location. As kids, we’d always check the cigarette machine on the way to the bathroom and often score a free pack!”

Joshua Burke

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“Very sorry to see you close down my favourite restaurant but can understand too. It was a pleasure to go because you were all so pleasant to see. Good luck for your future.”

Stella Hembruff

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“We stopped here on our way to Tofino for our wedding last year and loved it. Sad we won’t be able to visit again!”

Kevin Forsyth

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“You will be missed. My folks used to love going to your place for a meal.”

Valerie Bruce

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“Sad to see a great family restaurant close after all these years. We brought my Mom there often for our favourite dishes. Best wishes to all.”

Karen Mack

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“As they would say in Australia, “Bloody Legends.” Congrats to all on a job well done.”

Darren Brown

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“I was hopeful you would find a decent buyer, sorry to read this. I do understand, yet sad to hear. Enjoy retirement, all of you.”

Brent Polly Browning

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“Noooooo.”

Roxanne Wilson

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“The end of an era for sure. You will be missed.”

Raul Ciaz

Alberni ValleyFood & DiningPort AlberniSmall Business

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