Saying Goodbye To The Restaurateur That Changed The Face Of Sheffield
Published On Saturday 6 Jan 2024 by Sticky Beak
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Few people made a bigger impact on the city’s hospitality industry than Moreno Mori.
Moreno and Giovanni
Arriving from Italy in 1958, he enjoyed early roles at Sheffield’s Grand Hotel before working his way up to being restaurant and banqueting manager at the Grosvenor House Hotel.
But that was only the start of his career.
Following a chance meeting in 1973 with Giovanni Falsone, Moreno Mori realised they both shared the same dream – to open an authentic Italian restaurant in Sheffield. They opened Casina Bianca on London Road.
The eatery was a big success and they soon opened two more outlets on Ecclesall Road - Pizzeria Giovanni and Victorian Wine bar, Sheffield’s first wine bar.A second wine bar, Vat One, soon followed on West Street.
Moreno Mori went on to operate the city’s hugely successful Dam House Restaurant from the mid ‘70s to the early ‘90s.
It was renowned for offering high end French cuisine with ‘gueridon service’ - dishes cooked at the table - and a dinner dance every Saturday night .
Moreno Mori’s success became an inspiration for the city’s Italian community with many more following in his footsteps and going on to launch their own successful restaurants in Sheffield.
His legacy was confirmed with the success of his son, Maurizio Mori, and his award-winning Nonnas outlet which has been successfully running on Ecclesall Road for over 25 years.
One of his proudest moments was when father and son entertained Hollywood legend Sylvester Stallone at Nonnas in 2015.
Maurizo Mori said: “Few people knew the importance of learning a trade inside out. My father started at the bottom and rose to the very top and he was always so proud to do it in Sheffield. He has always been an inspiration to me and has helped me with my career as a restauranteur. He will be very sadly missed.”
A memorial service was held for Moreno Mori at the Mother of God Church, Nether Edge.
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