Camillo’s Cafe, the cozy Italian restaurant that has called the Princeton Shopping Center home for the last eight years, is closing permanently on Saturday night.
Owner Camillo Tortola, who expressed sadness about the closing, said he had no other choice because of difficulties with the new landlord.
“This company has been so tough to deal with in so many ways,” Tortola said. “I just can’t stay in business any more because of the situation.”
In 2012, the Princeton Shopping Center was purchased by Edens, a South Carolina based real estate company that runs about 140 shopping centers along the East Coast. The company terminated most of the management at the shopping center right after the sale. Some merchants say the company has been looking for ways to raise rents. Tortola, a Princeton resident, declined to comment on his issues with Edens for now and said he focus the next few days is on spending time with his employees and customers.
“It makes me so sad, because this has been like a family here,” he said. “Some of my staff have been with me for more than seven years. I have a lot of regular customers who have been coming here since we opened, and I will miss them a lot.”
Tortola, who was born and raised in Miranda, Italy, often cooks his grandmother’s recipes at the restaurant known for its authentic, homestyle, fresh Italian food. Camillo’s Cafe was named one of the best New Jersey restaurants in 2008 by the Star Ledger.
Tortola is not sure what his next move will be after the restaurant closes. He said he will not reopen Camillo’s Cafe at another location in Princeton.