End of an era: Sorrento Italian Restaurant closes amid COVID-19 pandemic


EL PASO, Texas (KTSM)– The dim candlelight and Chiante wine bottles hanging from the ceiling are just some of the iconic staples of the long-running Italian restaurant, Sorrento.

Sorrento Italian Restaurant announced Wednesday on Facebook it was closing it’s doors permanently. Owner and manager Marsha Chanoux said it was just time to close up especially with all the complications from the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Business has dropped off and it was just the perfect storm it was just time, I’m older and my staff is older, its just time,” Chanoux said.

Sorrento’s served the El Paso community for more than 60 years, first opening in 1951. Chanoux said the pandemic made things complicated as Texas restaurants were forced to close business to curbside only, to slowly reopening dine-in.

Governor Greg Abbott recently reduced restaurant capacity to only 50 percent.

“The COVID-19 has hit,” Chanoux said. She said she did not apply for a PPP loan for small businesses.

“I thought I was going to be able to sustain we’ve been here for so many years and we’ve always had a good clientele,” Chanoux said. “It’s just really hard to do business now with all the restrictions and worry for our guests.”

She now reflects on the memories.

“We’re getting a lot of our old old customers back for one last hurrah,” Chanoux said.

The restaurant’s last day of business is August 2.

“It was a good run and we enjoyed doing it, we saw generations grow up, kids and grandkids and they kind of saw us grow up too.”

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