After 56 years, a favorite banquet facility in Wallingford will be shutting down. The family behind the venue's success for generations is opting to sell the property.
It was 1960 when George Mesite, an immigrant from Italy, first set up shop on Route 5 in Wallingford. He opened a banquet and function facility that he named Villa Capri. His family said that owning and operating the business was Mesite's American dream come true.
“We owe everything to my dad, well actually, to my mom too," said Gina Mesite Mueller, one of the current owners of Villa Capri.
George Mesite passed away nine years ago, but his children have continued the tradition of making memories here.
“People just kept coming back, coming back," said Gina.
After two generations of success, the Mesite family is opting to end Villa Capri's run, to focus to other business ventures. They said they have had hundreds of other offers to sell over the years.
“We have an ever growing family with grandkids and our own kids so that's why it's just time to move on," said co-owner Robert Mesite.
“We started as little kids and grew up in the business and it is going to be tough," said Ralph Mesite, another of the current owners of Villa Capri.
The Mesite family is said to be in talks with Cumberland Farms, which is aiming to build a gas station and convenience store on the property. The last day of operation for Villa Capri will be July 31, 2016. Bookings are still being taken for events up to that date.
“We tried to do the best we can and I think we did good," said Gina.