For years, the large building with arched windows on the Campo San Luca has been shared by Spizzico (an Italian pizza chain owned by Autogrill) and Burger King. Before that, its tenants included McDonald's and another hamburger chain.
On Thursday, we were suprised to see that the Burger King and Spizzico signs were gone, and the windows were papered over. Two small signs on the doors that advertised "400 seats available upstairs" were the only reminders that the premises housed Venice's largest fast-food restaurant until recently.
Venetophiles tend to be snobbish about fast food, but we think it's unfortunate that Spizzico and Burger King are gone. In the handful of times that we stopped in (usually after arriving on a transatlantic flight when we were too tired to go anywhere else), we saw a clientele that ranged from teenagers to hotel workers to military cadets on tight budgets.
With 400 seats upstairs and free restrooms for customers, Spizzico and Burger King offered a place where locals and tourists could eat cheaply, rest their feet for a few minutes, and use a toilet without paying the outrageous €1,50 charged by Venice's municipally-operated facilities.
We hope the restaurant's premises haven't been leased by a clothing retailer (Venice already has more than enough of those), but we're not optimistic. After all, Benetton is taking over the city's main post office, so it wouldn't be surprising to see a Banana Republic or a Jack Wolfskin occupying the former Spizzico and Burger King.