A popular Northwest Side restaurant is closing this year, staff announced Thursday night, shocking fans of the beloved Italian staple.
Sabatino’s Restaurant in Old Irving Park announced on Facebook that it plans to close by the end of the year, “tentatively late in December.”
A reason for the closing was not given on the website and the restaurant could not immediately be reached, but owners Angelo and Enzo Pagni told Block Club Chicago they sold the restaurant so the two brothers could retire. They told the publication no one in the family wanted to carry on with the restaurant, which they sold through a broker. Details on what will happen to the space weren’t immediately known.
The restaurant is in its own way, a time capsule in Chicago, remaining unchanged since it first opened more than 40 years ago. From the live piano bar and violinists to the fine-dining style that featured classic Italian cuisine served on white table-clothed tables, there was no shortage of nostalgia for those who visited.
“If you grew up in Chicago, Sabatino's was probably your first exposure to fine dining at the $30-an-entree level, and your grandparents likely brought you here,” a review from the Chicago Tribune posted on the restaurant’s website reads. “You're greeted at the door by neoclassical Grecian statues, because in the '70s they were the embodiment of interior decorating chic. Then you notice the fake bunched grapes, wine barrels and Christmas lights hanging on walls and you think, ‘Boy, this is some classy joint.’”
News of the closing shocked fans on social media, with many crediting it as “one of the bests.”
“A true Chicago treasure,” one user wrote. “Old school Italian…delicioso!”
“This is terrible,” another user said. “What a great place. Not many like it left. A throwback to better everything.”
An exact date for the restaurant’s closing has not yet been announced.