Wilmette, News

Rosati’s Pizza’s closure latest in Plaza del Lago changes

Not two years after opening, Rosati’s Pizza’s Wilmette location in Plaza del Lago is no more.

The corner storefront has gone dark, and a call to the restaurant prompts an automated message that says, “Unfortunately this location is permanently closed.”

The Record‘s messages to restaurant leaders were not returned by press time (Thursday, May 17).

Rosati’s Pizza is a national chain with 200 locations, including 32 in Illinois. The Wilmette location opened in August 2021 in a Plaza del Lago storefront previously occupied by Fannie May Confections until 2019.

Franchisee Sehul Patel wrote to Wilmette officials in 2020 and said, “I am excited about this opportunity. We would like to bring Chicago’s finest thin crust pizza to one of the prestigious villages in the Chicagoland area.”

Patel did not return The Record’s request for comment.

Rosati’s is the latest business to depart or announce a departure from Plaza del Lago, which was purchased by WS Development in the spring of 2022.

WS officials submitted plans to renovate the plaza in late 2022. As of March 2022, Plaza del Lago had 30 storefronts (26) occupied.

The plaza’s new owners have implied new tenants are forthcoming for the 100,000-square-foot, open-air shopping center, but have yet to announce any. In the meantime, at least five storefronts — or 19 percent of the plaza’s occupancy — have left Plaza del Lago.

Chantilly Lace, Hanig’s Footwear, La Colonna and Giggles & Giraffes are all leaving the plaza for downtown Wilmette, while Rosati’s closed.

Other dining businesses in the center include Burhop’s Seafood, Convito Cafe and Market, and Clucker’s Charcoal Chicken. Clucker’s co-owner Reed Medinger said the business is in negotiations with WS Development and would like to stay.

“We’re doing a lot of business and like the location, and it seems like customers like us,” he said.

A spokesperson for WS Development told The Record via email that at least some departing businesses had opportunities to stay but did not elaborate on those opportunities. WS Development also did not disclose any incoming or prospective tenants.

“Upon acquiring a place like Plaza del Lago and implementing a new modern vision for the property, we try to do our best to create opportunities for existing businesses to remain while also taking the steps necessary to achieve our goals for the property,” the spokesperson said in a statement. “While not all can remain, we’re thrilled to see that several businesses will stay close and continue to serve the Village within its thriving downtown. We believe the future of Plaza del Lago is very bright and look forward to sharing more news as soon as we’re able.”

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joe coughlin
Joe Coughlin

Joe Coughlin is a co-founder and the editor in chief of The Record. He leads investigative reporting and reports on anything else needed. Joe has been recognized for his investigative reporting and sports reporting, feature writing and photojournalism. Follow Joe on Twitter @joec2319

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