After more than 40 years of serving veal scallopini and chicken parmigiana, an iconic Italian eatery on Portage Avenue has closed for good.
Sunday was supposed to be the last supper at Paradise Restaurant and Lounge, but workers said the owners shut down after closing time Friday.
"I’m very disappointed," one former employee said Sunday. She wishes she could’ve said goodbye to some of the loyal customers who’d planned to dine one last time on the weekend.
"We had a lot reservations for the rest of the weekend and were telling people Nov. 3 was our final day," said the server, who didn’t want her name published.
"Today, people are going to go there for supper and see the sign saying it’s closed."
Vince Magro, whose family has owned the restaurant since it opened on Portage Avenue in 1978, told the Free Press earlier they were closing because they were having trouble staffing it.
"I think this isn’t just my problem," Magro said.
"It’s very hard to find decent people to work," he said. "It’s a disaster; cooks come for a week and then leave."
Another employee who worked at Paradise on Portage said Sunday the working conditions at the restaurant weren’t great. The woman, who also didn’t want her name published, said a number of employees felt "disrespected" and they resented that surveillance cameras were put in place to watch them work.
Meanwhile, the Paradise Restaurant and Lounge that opened on Leila Avenue in 1983 remains open. No one answered the phone at either location Sunday afternoon.
Updated on Sunday, November 3, 2019 at 7:23 PM CST: Edited