Falling bricks close down Bristol restaurant


Sometime between closing on Monday and Tuesday morning, a section of the brick façade on the south side of Leo’s restaurant came crashing to the ground. Now the restaurant at the corner of Hope and Church streets is dark.

“At this point they’re saying we’re closed until further notice,” Leo’s owner Paul Mancieri said.

When Mr. Mancieri learned of the incident, he contact Bristol’s building inspector, Richard Pimenta.

“In the interest of safety, he didn’t want to take any risk,” Mr. Mancieri said.

The building that houses Leo’s restaurant is a former Mason Hall, owned by St. Alban’s Lodge of Bristol. It was constructed in 1879.

“It’s a tough situation,” Mr. Mancieri said of the business closure. “I can’t do anything until we know what kind of move we need to make.”

Although he said it appears the collapse is just the brick façade, engineers will need to look at the building to assess any other issues that may have led to the collapse.

The restaurant has endured several business interruptions over the past several years, with hurricanes, winter storms and the Hope Street reconstruction project that removed some parking spaces from outside the business.

In the present, Mr. Mancieri is concerned about his staff of a dozen employees who are now out of work, and the diners who crowd into the restaurant for lunch and dinner.

“This is the last thing I need,” Mr. Mancieri said. “I have a great staff. We’ll get through this.”

Mr. Pimenta could not be reached for comment.


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It is located at the southwest corner of Hope and Church Streets not Constitution Street. You've been a reporter in town for a while now. You ought to know the street names and locations.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014 | Report this

The editor (me) made that error, and it's been fixed. Thanks for pointing it out :)

Thursday, March 13, 2014 | Report this

I am sorry to hear about this. Leo's is among the best restaurants in Bristol. The food is delicious, the staff are friendly and attentive, and the prices are very reasonable. Clearly, Mr. Mancieri is doing the right thing to ensure the safety of his customers and staff. I wish them the best and hope they are able to reopen quickly.

Thursday, March 13, 2014 | Report this

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Jim McGaw

A lifelong Portsmouth resident, Jim graduated from Portsmouth High School in 1982 and earned a journalism degree from the University of Rhode Island in 1986. He's worked two different stints at East Bay Newspapers, for a total of 18 years with the company so far. When not running all over town bringing you the news from Portsmouth, Jim listens to lots and lots and lots of music, watches obscure silent films from the '20s and usually has three books going at once. He also loves to cook crazy New Orleans dishes for his wife of 25 years, Michelle, and their two sons, Jake and Max.