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Following the upcoming closure of Pislino in Avondale at 2755 W. Belmont Ave., one of the owners is looking to open a restaurant with a market component in the suburbs.
The pandemic was tough for all business owners, especially for Pisolino owners Rachel and James De Marte. The business partners opened the restaurant in 2016 at the Elston, Belmont, and California intersections. When COVID-19 forced everyone to adjust their businesses, Pisolino was one of the first to pivot by turning their Italian restaurant into a market and takeout operation, along with a new partnership with third-party delivery couriers. Despite the efforts, the business will have its final day on Sunday, September 25th.
“We were just really, really struggling in terms of sales,” Rachel De Marte Eater Chicago. “[Six] years into this, and we came to the realization that we have tried everything that we can.”
The former husband-and-wife duo will split as business partners, each taking their own path. For Rachel, she will move to the event planning industry, stating the restaurant industry has left a bitter taste in her mouth. The Martes both believe more could have been done by the community and elected officials.
James, who has worked for multiple restaurants in Chicago and Italy, says tells Eater Chicago he is in talks of opening a new restaurant, possibly in Barrington and St. Charles. This concept won’t happen for a while, though, as James says he needs time to recover following an exhausting seven years in Avondale.
“We did what we could,” James De Marte said. “But now it’s time to move on.”