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    Nino's Ristorante Hit By Graffiti Vandalism For Second Time

    In the interest of full disclosure, we consider Nino's Ristorante Italiano a world-class Long Beach treasure. We decided this years before launching which has proudly displayed an ad for them since we debuted.

    (August 16, 2006) -- Nino's Ristorante Italiano, a Bixby Knolls landmark on Atlantic Ave. at Roosevelt Rd., has been victimized for a second time in less than three weeks by a graffiti vandal(s) who defaced the artistic mural on the building's north wall.

    To deny the vandal publicity, we pixeled the graffiti.

    The crime occurred during the overnight period August 14-15 and comes after similar-appearing graffiti [unintelligible to us] was painted the wall on or about July 26-27.

    The most recent vandalism was mentioned during the Aug. 15 City Council meeting at which 8th district Councilwoman Rae Gabelich was (by coincidence) handing out recognitions to various community members including Vincenzo and Inge Cristiano, who've operated Nino's as a family business since July 1958, making it LB's oldest Italian restaurant.

    Screen save: LBTV 8
    Councilwoman Gabelich invited Mr. and Mrs. Cristiano to receive their recognition...but Mr. Cristiano was still visibly seething over what had been done to his business.

    "We're not going to stand for this," Councilwoman Gabelich said. "We will continue to fight back and support the good people in our community and so we'll help you figure this out." Mr. Cristiano thanked the Councilwoman and came to the microphone to explain.

    "If I look not too happy, please come in Bixby Knolls and look what they did on the nice wall," said Mr. Cristiano.

    And gesturing to the audience, he added, "This is the second time in three weeks."

    Screen save: LBTV 8

    Councilwoman Gabelich added, "I know it's really tough. The fight continues though. It's very important that we stand up to certain elements that are trying to harm our communities."

    As previously reported by, the Cristiano family retained a skilled artist to restore the mural after the first attack.

    Ninos' inside walls are filled with photos of fans (including retired Mayor Ernie Kell and spouse retired Councilwoman Jackie Kell and former CA Attorney General/now Northern CA Congressman Dan Lungren and Hollywood VIPs). Retired LB Councilman Frank Colonna and current LB Redevelopment Agency boardmember Terry Jensen both worked at Nino's in their youth.

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