LIVINGSTON, NJ — Following some controversy over the mural painted on the rear of Livingston’s Porto by Antonio, owner Antonio Dinis announced this week that the wood-burning pizzeria is officially closed as of Wednesday.

Dinis thanked all those who spoke up and supported Porto by Antonio, adding that he is grateful to all the residents who enjoyed the menu and laid-back atmosphere of Porto.

Regarding the mural, which cost him $20,000 and had been painted over in white late last week, Dinis clarified that the restaurant had a permit to paint the building, but said that the local planning board wanted it to depict words and food rather than characters.

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Many residents immediately noticed that the mural was missing over the weekend, and some were outraged by its disappearance after learning that the planning board had asked for it to be removed. Mayor Shawn Klein and members of the council said the mural’s sudden removal was also news to them, and clarified on Monday that this matter was in the hands of the planning board (see story HERE).

Sebastian Ferreira, the pop-up artist who painted the mural, was surprised to learn how many local residents were disappointed by its removal.

“I just wanted to thank everyone for the support,” he said. “I honestly had no clue how many people actually appreciated the mural. Thank you for supporting your local artists. Fight for art!”

Ferreira said he would love to hear from some of the fans and encouraged them to contact him via Instagram (@artbysebastian) or by email at artbysebas@gmail.com.

Porto by Antonio has an additional location in North Bergen. To learn more, visit http://portobyantonio.com.