Couple at the helm of popular Italian restaurant for 20 years are set to retire

It’s the end of an era at Orlando’s Restaurant and Pizzeria in Grange Moor, as Orlando and Caroline Gubbini take a well-earned retirement.

By Julie Marshall
Thursday, 4th August 2022, 4:30 pm

The couple have been at the helm of the restaurant for 20 years and have built up a loyal following of customers who come back time and again.

Orlando, who is a former president of Heckmondwike Rotary Club, said: “We have some lovely customers who are more like friends.

“Over the years they have brought their children who are now bringing in their own kids.”

Orlando and Christine Gubbini

Before opening up the restaurant Orlando ran the cafe at Hampsons Garden Centre in Huddersfield for 10 years before moving to the Wakefield branch of Hampsons.

He then opened up a cafe at what was then the Little Chef at Grange Moor before rebuilding it as Orlando’s restaurant.

But its not only the food that has made Orlando’s so popular.

Orlando is a member of the Magic Circle and between serving food he would move through the restaurant performing tricks for the children.

He said: “Although I’ve retired, if a restaurant wanted to hire me to do a couple of hours of magic I would do that.

“We are looking forward to our retirement. Caroline and I were working 60 hours a week in the restaurant and we have never been able to enjoy weekends.”

Customers who worry that the magic of Orlando’s dishes will be lost need not fear as the chefs and other members of staff will stay on under the new owners.

Orlando, aged 66, said: “The food is not going to change and we will give the new owners all the support we can.”

The couple enjoy cycling and Caroline has signed up for a 355km three-day cycle ride from Milan to Venice on September 1 for the charity Women V Cancer, a partnership between Breast Cancer Now, Ovarian Cancer Action and Jo’s Cervical Cancer Trust.

She has already raised £1,810.