UPDATE: Enrico's Sets Last Dine-In Date at Current Location
Enrico's Italian Dining will serve its final dinner at its LaGrange Road location Aug. 15, the restaurant's owners announced Saturday. Where the Frankfort institution will be moving to after that is still a mystery.
The last day to eat in at Enrico's Italian Dining's current, historic location on LaGrange Road will be Aug. 15, although where the culinary institution will be moving to after that hasn't been revealed, according to a restaurant press release sent Saturday.
In the interim, the owners—Harry and Bob D'Ercole—have been working with the restaurant's staff to find temporary work in between August's closing and Enrico's eventual reopening some time in the future, the release stated. How the catering side of Enrico's business will be affected was not mentioned in the release.
Enrico's has been in the process of relocating since the D'Ercoles finalized a land deal with the developers from Mariano's Fresh Market in June. That deal sold the property Enrico's sits on—along with the old locations of De Paulo Travel and Red Door Realty—in order for Mariano's to build a 73,000-square-foot upscale grocery store. The target opening for the new store is early summer of 2013, with construction possibly beginning before the end of this summer.
Although Mariano's coming to town spurred the move, relocating Enrico's was becoming an inevitability, Harry D'Ercole has said in the past. The restaurant, which has been in its current spot for almost 40 years, had outgrown its building, he has said.
Since the deal went through, the D'Ercoles have been scouting existing facilities, as well as considering building from the ground up. And while he would like to keep Enrico's in Frankfort, Harry D'Ercole has said in a past interview they weren't looking exclusively at village locations, and other communities had been courting the restaurant. However, D'Ercole is quoted in the press release, saying: "The plan has always been to relocate within the village to a space that better met our needs."
Enrico's website and Facebook page will continue to be updated during the restaurant's eventual move, the release stated. Relocation news, trivia and cooking tips from Chef Frank will be on the Facebook page, and customers are being encouraged to share photos and anecdotes about the restaurant there as well.
"This has been such a difficult decision to make because over the years our patrons have become a part of our collective life as a restaurant staff," Harry D'Ercole stated in the release. "They have stuck with us through good times and not so good times in the economy, and we consider them part of the family."
UPDATED (7:44 p.m. Sunday, July 22): A reader requested the full text of the press release from Enrico's be reprinted. Here it is:
As the sun sets on summer, so, too, does a season end for Enrico's Italian Dining. Wednesday, August 15, will be the final day to dine in at the LaGrange Road location, where this family-owned Frankfort favorite has been located for 38 years. However, this is not addio (goodbye), but arrivederci (see you again soon) for restaurant patrons. Enrico's staff have been diligently working on potential new sites and hopes to announce shortly where it will be relocating.
While he knows there will be tears over the closing, owner Harry D'Ercole Jr. emphasizes that this move brings great opportunity for Enrico's Italian Dining. "Our building dates back 40 years, and we have clearly outgrown our facility over the past four decades. The plan has always been to relocate within the village to a space that better met our needs," he explained.
Since the news was first announced in May that Mariano's Fresh Market would be buying the property where Enrico's sits, diners have continued to post encouragements on the restaurant's Facebook wall, along with their hopes that the closing will be very temporary and that they'll soon be dining among friends again. And D'Ercole is thankful for that support.
"This has been such a difficult decision to make because over the years our patrons have become a part of our collective life as a restaurant staff. They have stuck with us through good times and not so good times in the economy, and we consider them part of the family," D'Ercole shared.
To that end, Enrico's Italian Dining will be doing what families do best as they celebrate milestones. They'll be giving hugs, exchanging laughs, wiping away a few tears and looking forward to what the future holds as the restaurant recreates itself over the next several months. D'Ercole has also been working to find temporary jobs for staff who have requested interim employment during the transition period.
Fans are encouraged to share stories on the restaurant's Facebook wall (www.facebook.com/enricositalian), and staff will be on hand in the coming weeks in the restaurant to take pictures and record memories. Facebook will also be used during the transition to update patrons weekly with relocation renovation news, as well as culinary tips from Chef Frank and quaint and quirky Enrico's trivia from years gone by. In addition, the home page of www.enricositalian.com will be active, and people will still be able to sign up for the e-newsletter which will keep them in the loop over the next several months.
For the most up to date information on the move, visit www.facebook.com/enricositalian. The restaurant is open Tuesday through Saturday, 4 p.m. to 10 p.m. and Sunday, 4 p.m. to 9 p.m., closed Monday. Enrico's is located at 21027 S. LaGrange Road in Frankfort.
Other Frankfort Patch Stories About Enrico's Move and the New Mariano's Fresh Market:
- Where Should It Go? Enrico's Italian Dining
- Board Approves New Mariano's Store; How Will This Change Frankfort?
- Mariano's Ripple Effect: De Paulo Travel to Relocate This Weekend
- Go to Frankfort Patch's Section on the New Mariano's Fresh Market for Complete Coverage
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