Italian eatery to close this week

MERRIMACK – A popular Italian restaurant in business for nearly 20 years will close Christmas Eve.

Ya Mamma’s owners Michael and Michele Ferrazzani announced via their Web site that they will shut down the restaurant Wednesday afternoon.

“It has been a very difficult time in this economy in these last few years,” the site reads. “We are sorry and very sad that it has come down to this, but the bank leaves us NO choice but to close our doors.”

The Ferrazzanis could not be reached for comment because the restaurant is closed Mondays.

The Ferrazzanis, along with Michael Ferrazzani’s mother, Joan Healy – for whom the place is named – opened Ya Mamma’s on Canal Street in Nashua in 1990. Eight years later, they moved to a bigger space at 75 Daniel Webster Highway in Merrimack.

The restaurant has earned numerous awards for its authentic Italian cuisine over the years, and in 2002, Ya Mamma’s was featured on the Food Network in a four-minute piece on a specialty dish.

The Ferrazzanis will continue producing marinara, Fra Diavolo, Genovese and pizza sauces sold at Shaw’s and Hannaford supermarkets, Jeannottes, The Meat House, The Prime Butcher and other specialty shops in the state, the site says.

They also plan to develop new sauces in the future.

“We want to thank all our loyal customers for their great support over the years and the great adventures we have had along the way,” the site said. “We will miss our Ya Mamma’s family of staff and wish all the best to our customers and employees.”