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Longtime La Jolla staple, Pernicano's, set to close in September

Posted at 11:45 PM, Aug 16, 2019
and last updated 2019-08-17 09:11:23-04

LA JOLLA, Calif. (KGTV) - After serving the beach communities of Pacific Beach and La Jolla for more than 60 years, Pernicano’s Family Restaurant will be closing.

Johnny Pernicano Sr., the restaurant's enigmatic founder, still comes every night, singing to patrons with his piano and accordion.

“I learned how to play all the instruments just by being here every night,” said Pernicano.

He and his nine brothers began opening restaurants across San Diego after World War II. 

As the youngest son, he started off making pizzas in his older brother’s restaurant. 

But by the mid ’50s, he went off on his own to build the restaurant that’s now on Turquoise Street on the southern edge of La Jolla.

Since then, it’s served as the reliable home for birthdays, reunions, fundraisers and family dinners across San Diego.

It’s one of three surviving Pericano’s in the county. Two of his nephews, now in their 70's, operate locations in El Cajon and Poway. They will remain open for the foreseeable future.

The location on Turquoise Street will have its last day on Sept. 15.

Johnny says he has leased the space out to a new family who plans on opening a new restaurant at the location.