Farewell to a city centre institution

THERE they go again.

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Just when the government tries to convince us that they're bringing them into line, they go ahead and cause more misery.

If they're not telling me I've dipped into my overdraft again, then they're dipping into public money to fix the whole system.

I'm talking about the bankers, of course.

And I've seen The Wolf of Wall Street - there is no way these people can ever be tamed.

This time it's nothing to do with shares, recessions or big fat bonus pay-offs. It's to do with my takeaway penne picante.

I could be accused of being a bit unfair towards bankers, but I've got to direct my anger somewhere.

The news spread quickly on Monday... Dino's was closing down.

Soon people were writing nostalgic stories condensed to 140 characters for Twitter, and the #SaveDinos campaign gathered pace.

The collective outcry ranged from people reminiscing about first dates there 30 years ago to food lovers discussing "cracking" egg mayonnaise croissants and "roll n squadge" (square sausage).

It began trending in Glasgow as people faced their nightmare: a city centre without delicious and well-priced pasta, pizza, cakes, sandwiches and cappuccinos under the same roof.

Colleagues from the office chimed in - what would we eat on the late shift when we need a hot meal?

But why? We asked. Why would a successful eaterie dating back to the 60s - and nothing less than an institution - shut down?

Businessman Alfredo Crolla admitted he hadn't put the restaurant up for sale. But he could not say no to the offer from the Halifax.

They decided it was the ideal site for a new branch, even though Bank of Scotland, which is part of the same banking group, is across the road.

Who knew Halifax could do something even more annoying than their TV adverts? But for all my banker bashing we have to be realistic.

Alfredo, now 72, has every right to sell-up. People move on and things change.

The way we reacted to losing Dino's made me realise how attached we get to foodie places.

I first visited Dino's years ago on a trip to Glasgow. In that part of Sauchiehall Street there were three choices: Burger King, KFC or homemade Italian. It was an easy decision and I've been hooked ever since.

A quick chat with friends revealed so many other lost favourites.

The Inn on the Green, Buck Rogers Burger Bar, L'Ariosto, Spaghetti Factory, to name but a few.

Even when shops close I still turn to my tummy.

Pick 'n' Mix will never be the same following the demise of Woolworths.

It just goes to show: the way to everyone's hearts - except the bankers - is through food.

Food and drink

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