After many decades on the East Side – it's not a stretch to call the restaurant at 2315 N. Murray Ave., an institution – Palermo Villa is closing, according to owner Kathy Mirenda.
"Palermo Villa Restaurant, on Murray Avenue, has closed its doors," said Mirenda in an e-mail. "For 34 years we have been serving our traditional, classic Italian cuisine and pizza.
"Our long-standing clientele has considered us the place that never changes, and we have always thought that to be a compliment. It has become evident that we can no longer do business as usual. We are closing during these difficult economic times in hopes to recreate and reopen in the future. To all our loyal customers and friends, we thank you for your support and patronage these many years."
Mirenda is working with her brother Dean Cannestra – long an employee of the restaurant, before opening Nessun Dorma in Riverwest and the now-closed Libiamo in Schlitz Park – to investigate the possibility of reopening.
The closing hits home for me. My wife and I ate at Palermo Villa on our wedding day and returned every year to celebrate our anniversary. Luckily, we squeezed in one last visit in June to celebrate our 10th anniversary.
In the past few days there was a sign on the door saying the restaurant was closed for vacation. That sign is no longer hanging.
Palermo Villa opened in 1969 under the ownership of the Fallucca family that now owns Palermo's Pizza.
I hope they reopen, the food & service were always great. I'm going to toss out the former Osteria del Mondo location in the Knickerbocker Hotel as a good space. The Knick restaurant looks to be doing well next-door, they seem to be a similiar price point, although a different food focus.
Either way, they would do well in that area... probably would keep many of their existing customers too.
that's kind of sad. my wife and I went there on our first date 11 years ago.
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