WEST RIDGE — After 56 years in the neighborhood, Gullivers will serve its last pizzas this weekend.
The neighborhood mainstay at 2727 W. Howard St. will close after Sunday night service, general manager George Gamilis confirmed. The restaurant and its building finally sold to another restaurateur after being on the market since at least 2019.
Gamilis said a kosher spot could open in the Gullivers West Ridge site. The Gullivers in Oak Brook will remain open.
“A lot of people are sad,” Gamilis said. We’re getting a lot of calls. We just want to thank people for all the support.”
Famous for its pan pizza and for being packed wall-to-wall with antiques, Gullivers was opened in 1965 by Jerry Freeman and Burt Katz. The two soon split up, with Katz going on to open famous pizza restaurants like Pequod’s.
Freeman continued as the owner of Gullivers. He developed a passion for antiques and filled the restaurant with stained glass lamps, statues and other items.
Gullivers expanded over the years and stretches across four lots and has a large patio. The restaurant seats 350 people and the property includes a parking lot across the street.
Freeman died in 2006 and the restaurant was sold to Chris Karageorgis.
Seeking to retire, Karageorgis in 2019 listed Gullivers and the Howard Street property for sale. Later that year, Gullivers put up for auction many of the restaurant’s antiques, some of which were up to 500 years old.
“It’s been the most popular restaurant in the neighborhood for forever,” Randall Pavlock, the owner of Hunter Properties, which listed the property, previously told Block Club.
A property listing for the restaurant from November cut the asking price to $749,000 from $895,000 in 2019.
Gamilis said most of the restaurant’s remaining antiques were included in the sale, which has not yet been reflected in public property records.
Gullivers is expecting crowds this weekend and will have a limited menu on Sunday. Gamilis said to call ahead before coming in.
“I’ll try not to take big groups,” he said. “We’re very short staffed.”
Gullivers is open from 11 a.m. to 11 p.m. Saturday-Thursday and 11 a.m. to midnight Friday-Saturday.
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