Franco Mastromauro of Medford, a renowned Cambridge restaurateur died Wednesday at the Liberty Commons Nursing Center. He was 88. Mr. Mastromauro was born in New York, and raised in Corato, Italy, the son of the late Cataldo and Maria (DiGennaro) Mastromauro. He returned to the United States, first living in the West End and then settling in Medford. In 1971 he fulfilled his dream to open his own restaurant, when he opened La Groceria in Cambridge's Central Square. Once he was joined by his sons the family grew the 20 seat sandwich shop into as 200 seat landmark restaurant and ushered in a more sophisticated menu compared to existing restaurants in Greater Boston. A favorite of Boston food critics, and renowned for a family atmospher La Groceria counted Tony Bennett and Julia Child among its many patrons. Franco and his sons closed the restaurant after a 37 year run. Though dedicated to his business, Franco was a devoted husband and father and a proud grandfather who enjoyed good times with his family and friends. He leaves his beloved wife, Helen (Colonna) and his devoted sons: Charles and his wife Carol of Melrose and Frank and his wife Jan of Cummaquid. He is survived by his loving grandchildren Dianna and her fianc' Zacchary Abrams, Matthew, Capt. Frank Jr, USMC and his wife Susan, Joseph and Tara. Franco was expecting his first great-grandson, Frank. He was also predeceased by his brother Girolamo Mastromauro. Family and friends visited at the Dello Russo Funeral Home, 306 Main St., Medford on Tuesday April 2nd from 4 thru 8 PM and again on Wednesday morning at 9 AM followed by a funeral mass celebrated in St. Francis of Assisi Church, 441 Fellsway West, Medford at 10 AM. Services were concluded with burial at Oak Grove Cemetery, Medford. To leave a message of condolence, visit www.dellorusso.net
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Published in The Melrose Free Press from Apr. 6 to Apr. 13, 2013