LOGAN SQUARE — Neighbors last week were devastated to find out Marcello’s Father and Son Restaurant was closing for good after 72 years in Logan Square.
But, luckily for those neighbors, the owners have now decided to keep the old-school family restaurant open on a limited basis until the property sells.
Starting Friday, the restaurant at 2475 N. Milwaukee Ave., best known for its tavern-style, thin-crust pizza, will be open for carryout and delivery only.
Patrons can expect a pared down menu with the “very best items,” according to Billy Bauer, whose family has owned the restaurant for generations.
Bauer said the limited restaurant will remain open five days a week — Wednesday through Sunday — until they close on the property, which could take months.
“We have been so amazingly overwhelmed by the enthusiasm from so many of our Friends & Customers !” Bauer said in a text message. “I already miss not being there!”
Father and Son was set to close for good on Sunday. Block Club was first to report on the closure, which marks the end of an era.
The Bauer family opened the original Father and Son in 1947 at the corner of Diversey Avenue and Whipple Street. In the mid-1960s, the family moved the restaurant to its current location at Milwaukee and Sacramento avenues.
Reached by phone, Bauer said the building, originally built in the early 1920s, needs hundreds of thousands of dollars in repairs.
“It’s a solid building as far as structure, but everything around it —a lot of things are starting to show. You gotta start putting some real money into it,” Bauer said, adding that it needs a new roof and major plumbing fixes.
Bauer said his family was also toying with the idea of renovating to compete with all of the new restaurants in the neighborhood, which also would’ve been costly.
“I’ve had a lot of mixed reviews from customers. Some people say they love the nostalgia. Others felt like it could be updated,” he said.
Ultimately, though, the family decided to get rid of the property altogether and focus on their growing delivery and catering business. About three months ago, the family started showing the property to developers.
“We always felt that the property was a little underdeveloped for what’s going on in the neighborhood,” Bauer said, adding that the two large parking lots on either side are underutilized.
The property has not yet been sold, but it has drawn a lot of developer interest after only three months of showings, according to Bauer.
Bauer said they already have “quite a few” offers. The property’s proximity to the Logan Square Blue Line and new developments like the massive Megamall project makes it especially attractive.
Bauer said developers have been itching to buy the property for years — before it ever hit the market.
“Over the last three years, if I were to guess, I’ve had 20-25 different developers of different sizes show a lot of interest. … with the wave now that’s going on in Logan Square,” Bauer said.
There’s a chance a reimagined Father and Son could open in the new development. Bauer said if the buyer is interested, his family is open to coming back “on a smaller scale.”
“I hope we can come back as a restaurant — the way we’d want it. It just depends,” he said.
For now, neighbors craving Father and Son’s pies can either head to the limited restaurant before it closes or the suburban Northbrook location.
“It’s sad. It’s always hard to be the guy that’s closing,” Bauer said.
“Every change comes with a good side and a bad side. you can’t have a major change without different things being affected.”
Limited restaurant menu below:
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