Hear that whimper? That's the collective cries of sadness from Evanston residents and Northwestern University Wildcats students and alums. After 44 years of serving affordable Italian-American cuisine, venerable Dave's Italian Kitchen closed on Monday in downtown Evanston. The restaurant's ownership, Dave and Ellen Glatt, left simple messages on their website and Facebook page: "We are closed forever - no sugar coating. Thank you! Dave."
The announcement was followed by an outpour of Facebook comments from Evanston residents and the Northwestern community. Some talked about the family-friendly atmosphere. Others talked about going on dates there. This was Dave's fourth iteration, as the restaurant had moved around since 1972 when it opened at 512 Davis St. Through the years, the Glatts have accommodated evolving diets, from serving college students pizza to gluten-free, meatless risotto. They also baked their own bread in house, and it was one of the few spots where Kosher eaters wouldn't be in fear of pork used in the spaghetti sauce.
Evanston officials at Monday night's city council meeting awarded the Glatts a key to the city, reported The Daily Northwestern, but they weren't on hand to accept the award. Evanston Mayor Elizabeth Tisdahl did tell the student newspaper that the Glatts had served a free meal every day to an at-risk family since fall 2012 in conjunction with the city's youth and young adult program.