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Testa's restaurant in Palm Beach set to close

Posted at 4:36 PM, Jul 14, 2017
and last updated 2017-07-15 08:26:46-04

Testa's, a Palm Beach staple, is set to close its doors Saturday night.

It's Palm Beach County's oldest restaurant and has been around since 1921 when the founder came down from Chicago. In the 30s, a lobster special would only cost you close to $2.

"You had broiled native pompano for a $1.50, half lobster for 90 cents. How's that sound?" a manager said.

It's definitely a taste of history and a taste so good and comforting, that the last bite is making some diners' eyes well up.

"Oh, I'm very - I can get teary-eyed," said one woman as she talked about it.

Customers are enjoying Testa's for the last time.

"I'm feeling like I'm losing my grandma and my grandfather," said a customer. "Because that's how I started coming here with them."

Testa's is closing to make room for a new development on Royal Poinciana Way.

"People are completely devastated. So many customers, they just want to come in and talk to us for 15 or 20 minutes," said manager Joe Docimo. "The look on their face is just, 'how can that be?'"

It's unclear when or where Testa's may reopen; the manager said only time will tell. Some customers come daily, even multiple times a day, and they're crossing their fingers.

"It makes me sad that they're tearing it down but I thank God for all the happy, wonderful memories I've had here," said Carol Lombard Clark, a longtime customer.

In the meantime, the staff will look for other jobs, but the stories will last forever.

"Palm Beach is - it's its own world, so - good and bad but mostly good," said bartender David Cipriani.

Testa's will close the doors Saturday night. The manager said it would normally be 10 p.m., but he predicts they will be there all night long.  He said they won't be doing anything special, it'll just be a regular night. 

That's what makes Testa's so special after all....the simplicity.