Pasta Shoppe in Oak Park served eviction notice

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By Marty Stempniak

Staff Reporter

After almost 10 years in business, the Pasta Shoppe & Café in Oak Park was evicted on Monday. But another restaurant may be on the way to replace it.

The Cook County Sheriff's Office placed the eviction notice in the window of the Pasta Shoppe, 116 N. Oak Park Ave., March 21. Anyone from the restaurant who enters the building without permission of the owner could be prosecuted for trespassing, which could carry up to 30 days in jail and a $500 fine.

An attorney representing the property owner declined to comment on Tuesday. But according to court records, a land trust company called North Star filed to evict the restaurant in January. And a county judge entered an order of possession on Feb. 28, demanding that the Pasta Shoppe pay $44,667 in back rent.

Gabrielle Romanucci — one of the restaurant's owners, who is named in the eviction lawsuit — did not immediately return a call to his cellphone late Monday.

The village board approved the cancellation of the Pasta Shoppe's liquor license on March 7. Victor Tufano bought the business from the owners in January, and plans to renovate and reopen it as Vicolo Trattoria in April, according to village records.

It was unclear as of Tuesday whether the eviction would affect the new restaurant's opening.

Reader Comments

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Posted: April 4th, 2011 10:59 AM

We are very sad to see Pasta Shoppe go. They were always very nice to our family and the food was consistently good, especially the sandwiches and the fresh pasta.

Linda from Oak Park  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 9:20 PM

What happens if you have a gift certificate?????

Bill Merrill from Oak Park  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 9:04 PM

We will miss the Neapolitan pizza.

Eric E. Frisch from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 5:09 PM

Too bad. I always enjoyed chatting with Arturo and I'll miss the freshly-made pasta.

two cent  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 3:55 PM

Wow, Johnny! Cutting wasteful spending is now a leftie knee jerk reaction? Crazy. I agree with Muriel 100%, we struggle and scrape and stop supporting our local economy, while the billionares have their best years ever. If we are ever to right the ship called America it will be because we are all rowing together, nationwide. Wealthy pay, corportations pay, and the less affluent pay with wages that cover contributing to the tax base. All in or all out.

Monica Harris from Oak Park  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 2:36 PM

@Diana, the library responds to the questions about the lights on its webpage here: I'd paste the answer here, but the character restriction won't allow it.

Sarah Corbin from Oak Park  

Posted: March 23rd, 2011 12:29 PM

Did you read that? $44,667 in back rent? No reasonable small business owner should have to go through that kind of stress. Regardless how we feel or felt about the food - take a moment to feel sorry for a business that couldn't quite keep up: for whatever reason. That is A LOT of money and says they were really just struggling to pay other bills too. Yikes - that is not an easy ride. Sorry Pasta Shoppe folks and good luck. Deep Breaths.

The Master Gourmand  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 7:43 PM

The Pasta Shoppe is (was) a great place to eat, with excellent, reasonably priced food, a deli that could not be beat in OP, and the owner was generous and always willing to shoot the breeze with the customers. They will be sorely missed.

Michael Nelson from oak Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 7:41 PM

A great place. Both Father and son were very good people I wish them the best

Diana Rasche from OP  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 6:37 PM

in this day and age of belt-tightening, deficits, why does our library keep the lights on 24/7? Don't tell me tht they are high efficiency bulbs & have to stay on to safe the life of them. Please turn them off like we do in our own homes.

Patch from River Forest  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 6:06 PM

Not surprising. My girlfriend and I ate there and they served us a salad that was inedible and refused to take it back. It was, obviously, old and wilted. Quite awful. We never went again. Too many other great restaurants in OP and RF to bother with one of this poor caliber.

Another One Bites the Dust  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 5:22 PM

Too bad, we loved this place, good food, nice people & great catering. Haven't been there lately having cut our entertainment budget. If they were unfriendly, could it be the stress of unrealistic rent? In the '50's in Oak Park, clerks would wait on you at a place like Field's, go the extra mile, and then say "Just like Downtown". They meant the service. Today that would mean the rent. Wouldn't subsidies for local businesses serve us better than brick roads, or does someone think we are in Oz

Johnny Sack from Oak Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 5:02 PM

Muriel, please...enough of the knee-jerk lefty nonsense. If you took that $$ away from the wars we'd STILL have a huge budget deficit so none of it comes here. This place had a 10-year run which makes it a very successful restaurant. If the rent wasn't high the first 8 years, then the Avenue isn't the problem. The local economy plus the owners lack of focus on quality & service is what caused the steady decline. Since they sold to Tufano the location remains viable. Good luck..I'll be there!


Posted: March 22nd, 2011 4:48 PM

Nice room, food mediocre and overpriced, unfriendly owner or host (not sure of this person's position).

mattjconti from river forest  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 2:41 PM

This was a really genuine old school place to dine. I don't know how a family run operation can operate these days with the overhead expenses; rent utilities, insurance, fees, payroll, cost of food and beveage, being so high. Can't blame the landlord, real estate taxes in Cook County and CAM charges are what they are.

val camilletti from oak park, il  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 2:39 PM

Hope that's part of the Tufano family from Little Italy. If so, them's good food genes.


Posted: March 22nd, 2011 2:17 PM

At least Romanucci won't have to pay for his employees healthcare now!


Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:54 PM

What a loss! This was my friend and my favorite get together place. The food was always good, and just like in Europe, they let you sit as long as you wanted with no fuss and no pushing you out the door. They will be missed. Bet the new place will be more $$$ and less homey.


Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:43 PM

That is probably four months rent plus late charges. Rent is outrageous on The Avenue.


Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:39 PM

Not surprising. The owner of that building is a jughead incapable of working with his tenants.

Drewski from OakPark  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:38 PM

Wow. $44 grand is a lot of dough... wonder how many months' rent that was.

muriel schnierow from River Forest  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:37 PM

here is how to write: Senator Dick Durbin Senator Mark Kirk US Senate Washington DC 20510 Rep Danny Davis US House of Representatives Washington DC 20515 President Barack Obama the White House 1600 Pennsylvania Ave Washington DC 20500

Edye from River Forest  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:34 PM

In my opinion, they were just okay. The Pasta Shoppe was a little too expensive. There are other Italian restaurants in the area that offer a better value.

muriel schnierow from River Forest  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:32 PM

fellow citizens and friends-looks like bad news for the economy. looking at Washington DC if we ended the War that would ad $120 billion a year in revenue.then if we taxed carefully earners of $1 million a year or more about another $800 billion a year. Then if we dealt with the tax havens in the Caymans etc. (Bank of America paid no taxes last year) my guess is at least another $100 billion .how about helping me out with a few letters to DC?

Doug Deuchler from Oak Park  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:31 PM

Oh my! Things come and they go so quickly around here these days. We have always LOVED The Pasta Shoppe. It's a perfect place for outside dining in the summer. You don't feel like you're sitting in the noisy street as you do in many other places. I adore their calimari-spinach salad. I miss them already. They had a very pleasant "wait staff."

Maggie Romanovich from Oak Park, Illinois  

Posted: March 22nd, 2011 1:28 PM

Bummer!!! I love this restaurant!!

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