A FAMOUS Italian restaurant has finally closed its doors after more than 50 years of trading.

Dino's on Sauchiehall Street shut up shop yesterday ready for new owners to move in.

Owner Alfredo Crolla decided to sell the site after he was approached by banking giants Halifax who want to turn the site into a new high street branch.

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Staff and restaurant regulars were saddened to discover the closure, and more than 1000 diners flocked to Dino's for one final time last weekend.

Waiter Paco Chincho has been working at Dino's for the past 10 years, and will be joining a few other staff members at another Crolla-run restaurant, Bella Napoli, on Kilmarnock Road.

The 41-year-old, said: "I was surprised when I found out it was closing.

"I'm not happy because I know plenty of customers here and I've got to know them well over the years...It's like a big family."

Martin Cox, another of the 39 waiters who worked in the restaurant, said: "I liked working here and I'll be sad now it's closing.

"I spend more time here with the guys than with my own family; it's just such a unique place to work."

Catering to locals, tourists and celebrities alike, the 140-seater restaurant once hosted the famous cookery writer Antonio Carluccio and his wife Cristina when they visited the city more than a decade ago.

Many Glaswegians have fond memories of dining at Dino's.

Jillian Bird, 28, a civil servant from Cumbernauld, was so fond of the restaurant that she made a memory book and presented it to staff last week.

She said: "I am friends with some of the staff in Dino's now, and I love it. It has a lot of memories for me.

"I asked people to share their memories or a message for the restaurant and I thought I would put all the comments and pictures in one place."