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CLOSED: La Piccola Cucina in Central Phoenix

La Piccola Cucina, the fast-casual Mediterranean cafe tucked into a charming, restored 1920s home on Seventh Street in Central Phoenix, has shuttered.

See also: - CLOSED: Cave & Ives Portico Grill in Arcadia - CLOSED: Busters on the Lake in Scottsdale

The restaurant, whose name means "the little kitchen," came courtesy of husband-and-wife team Debbie and Andy Pappas, who opened La Piccola Cucina in 2008. And the pair was as much a part of their little cafe as the food.

With a reputation for being a true character, ex-New Yorker Andy Pappas, a former actor and singer in his home state, would frequently burst into song at the restaurant. His wife Debbie, a flight attendant for 30 years in a previous life, was equally as friendly. The two moved to the Valley from New York, where Andy also owed restaurants, in 1997.

La Piccola Cucina's Mediterranean-inspired menu featured huge sandwiches, a rotating list of meats and side dishes from a refrigerated case, and desserts. Counter orders were delivered to tables inside or on the outdoor patio while pre-cooked orders were speed-heated in a high-tech oven and arranged on a plate.

Thanks to a reader for the tip.

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