LOGAN SQUARE — A family-owned restaurant serving international fare has joined Logan Square’s Armitage Avenue.
Lolita’s opened last weekend at 2937 W. Armitage Ave., a storefront most recently home to an ice cream shop.
The restaurant is run by Venezuelan immigrants Lolimar Gutierrez and her two kids, Antonio Sanchez-Gutierrez, 17, and Isabella Sanchez-Gutierrez, 22, who live in suburban North Riverside.
Open for breakfast, lunch and dinner, Lolita’s serves dishes from around the world, from Venezuelan arepas to Italian sandwiches. The grilled pear salad is the house specialty.
The menu was crafted by Lolimar Gutierrez, a lifelong cook who studied gastronomy while living in Venezuela, said her son, Antonio Sanchez-Gutierrez.
“She always liked the idea of cooking food from different places, not only Venezuela,” he said.
Lolita’s is a family affair. While their mother is in the kitchen, Antonio Sanchez-Gutierrez cleans and washes dishes, and Isabella Sanchez-Gutierrez works the cash register.
Antonio Sanchez-Gutierrez said his family fled from Venezuela to Chicago about four years ago to seek “better opportunities.” The South American country has long suffered from a shrinking economy and a humanitarian crisis.
Opening a restaurant felt like the natural next step for his family, Antonio Sanchez-Gutierrez said. It was difficult converting a narrow ice cream parlor into a restaurant, but with fresh coats of paint and new furniture, the family was able to bring life to the space in four months, he said.
The name is in honor of Lolimar Gutierrez’s nickname.
“It’s a warm and cozy place. We have food from different places. We have people saying the food tastes very good. It’s high quality,” Antonio Sanchez-Gutierrez said.
Lolita’s is open 8 a.m.-8 p.m. Monday-Friday,and 8 a.m.-9 p.m. Saturday-Sunday. It is BYOB.
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