Valparaiso closure signals the end of an era for an 'expat institution'

Valparaiso was founded by brothers Raffaele and Vittorio in 1984.
Valparaiso was founded by brothers Raffaele and Vittorio in 1984. / SUR
  • The restaurant, now up for sale, was founded in 1984 and hosted extravagant gala dinners and visiting celebrities

Valparaiso, one of the coast's longest-serving, and most popular restaurants has been put on the market after more than 35 years of business.

A favourite among the local expat community, the restaurant has not reopened its doors since the lockdown restrictions were lifted in June.

Along with financial problems caused by the coronavirus pandemic, owner Raffaele Morelli, who is 82, is struggling with health issues, and this has forced his decision to put the business up for sale.

However, the popular restaurateur is hoping to ensure that the business continues as a restaurant and he is currently holding out against developers who have shown an interest in turning the plot into an apartment complex.

Founded in 1984 by Raffaele and his brother Vittorio, the restaurant became renowned for its spectacular views, innovative cuisine and its extravagant gala dinner nights, all of which proved to be vital in building a faithful clientele.

Situated on the winding road to Mijas Pueblo, the restaurant soon became a favourite among visiting celebrities, like Sean Connery, Luciano Pavarotti and the Beckhams, to name a few.

It was also a popular venue for weddings and anniversary celebrations, while many of the local charity organisations chose Valparaiso to host their fundraising.

A source close to the restaurant said, "This is the end of an era for a popular expat institution. However, Valparaiso has established its name on the coast and it is our aim to see that this will continue after we sell.

"The business has survived numerous crises in the past and I am sure that it can survive this one."