Tuesday, May 15, 2018

Gioco Closes Their Doors After 19 Year Run on South Wabash

A neighborhood staple quietly closed their doors this past weekend (via Eater Chicago):
Gioco, the South Loop Italian restaurant that’s been around for 19 years, is closing following dinner service on Sunday. The shutter seemed inevitable after the restaurant’s owner and a real estate agent revealed problems in securing a new lease back in September. There’s no word yet on what the landlord plans for the soon-to-be vacant property at 1312 S. Wabash Avenue.

The restaurant’s lease expires in August, and co-owner Howard Davis said he couldn’t work out an extension. The South Loop was much more barren 20 years ago, and property prices were lower. Davis estimated his team paid about $1,500 per month when they first opened Gioco. That’s a steal compared to current prices.

“We had a great run,” Davis said, who added that he spoke with business partner Jerry Kleiner about the decision. Kleiner lives in California. “We tried for quite a while to strike a deal.”
This restaurant was a pioneering force for the neighborhood and in our book should get a lot of credit for paving the way for other restaurants/bars in the Sloop.  It hasn't been all smooth sailing for this restaurant.  Back in 2017 it appeared they were going to close and way back in 2011 they had some tax issues and change in the kitchen

While Gioco will be missed, we're curious to see what comes next for this high-profile space.

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