Italian family restaurant opens in Old Town
Through the '80s and '90s, a popular family-owned Italian restaurant called Bambino's served customers in the mid-block space at 2514 W. Colorado Ave.
On April 1, a new restaurant will open, bringing Italian food back to that location. Called Dat's Italian, the family-owned business specializes in recipes going back four generations, according to JoAnn Trujillo, who co-owns the business with her husband Dennis.
“I got my inspiration from my grandmother Marie and great-grandmother Anna, who are not with us now,” JoAnn said, recalling how she learned cooking techniques from both of them. “We call it comfort food - the meals everybody knows about, the things we always loved.”
Other family members who will be involved are her mother Marlene and her husband Craig, as well as the Trujillo daughters, Maia and Cedra.
It's the first restaurant for JoAnn, a self-described stay-at-home mom for 20 years. But she doesn't think it will be too big of an adjustment. “I've always loved to cook for large families,” she said.
Most recently the home of My Daughter's Deli, a restaurant that closed last year, Dat's Italian can seat 35 to 38 people indoors. A new option for diners will be the enclosed patio space in back, which has room for 30 more. “We're fixing it up, and it's going to be lovely,” JoAnn said.
The restaurant will serve lunch and dinner (with Italian desserts also available) Tuesday through Sunday.
Other amenities for customers will be wi-fi connections and handicapped accessibility. Takeout orders will be accepted, and special parties can be accommodated if notifed in advance. A wine and beer liquor license has been applied for.
Residents of the area for 30 years, the Trujillos don't live on the Westside, but their daughters are attending Coronado High School on permits. “When we saw the space and the location [for the restaurant], we knew it was perfect,” JoAnn said. “What we've been doing is four generations strong, which is history, and so is Old Colorado City.”
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