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VPR Cafe: After 75 Years, Bove's Resturant Closes Its Doors

Kevin Hurley
Burlington Free Press
A line of patrons wraps around Bove's Restaurant Tuesday evening. People were waiting to be seated for dinner eight days before the restaurant closes.

  On December 7 1941, Pearl Harbor Day, Lewis and Victoria Bove opened the doors of their new restaurant. The two were originally from Naples and after settling in Burlington's Little Italy, they saved enough money from their horse-drawn hot dog cart to open a restaurant.

The couple and their 13 children lived above the restaurant. In the backyard, Victoria Bove grew plum tomatoes that she used in their homemade pasta sauce. 

"A plate of spaghetti cost a quarter when they opened, beer was a nickel and [the] meal balls were homemade," said Candace Page, a contributor to the Savorvore Section of the Burlington Free Press.

75 years after opening, Bove's is changing gears to focus on expanding the distribution of their bottled tomato sauce. The restaurant closed its doors on Dec. 23. 

In the 1940's and 1950's, Bove's food was almost exotic in Vermont, a meat and potatoes kind of state where the seasonings were generally restricted to salt and pepper. 

"The idea of a generous amount of garlic, oregano, basil, olive oil, parmesan was either horrifying to your palate or very exciting," Page said.

You can find out more about Bove's Restaurant in Page's piece Memories Rich A Red Sauce Flow From Bove's Customers.

The VPR Café is made possible by Otter Creek Kitchenware in downtown Middlebury, offering over 70 lines of kitchenware.   

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