By JEFFREY BISHKU-AYKUL
Edwardo’s pizzeria, 1321 E. 57th St., a longtime presence on Hyde Park’s retail strip on 57th Street, closed Sunday evening.
General Manager Roman Sarias said he took a photo of the restaurant’s last pizza and customers – U. of C. alumni – to mark the occasion.
“What I will miss is the diversity of the crowd that comes in here and dealing with the students,” Sarias said.
According to Sarias, who has been managing Edwardo’s on and off for the past ten years, the restaurant learned it would be closing in March and business had been slow since October of last year. “That’s when it really started taking a big dive,” he said.
Sarias cited several factors in the restaurant’s waning business, including less catering orders coming from the U. of C., foodservice corporation Aramark’s “monopoly” on campus dining – and maybe even the replacement of the restaurant’s awning with a sign last fall.
“I don’t know if it had anything to do with it, but it’s just a funny coincidence,” Sarias said.
Edwardo’s, which came to Hyde Park in 1980, employed about 20 people, according to Sarias. The University of Chicago is the landlord for the restaurant owned by Bravo Restaurants Inc.
Calmetta Coleman, director of communications for the U. of C. Office of Civic Engagement, said via e-mail that the university does not discuss tenant leases. She added, however, that “the University began seeking a new tenant for the space because Edwardo’s informed our team of its plans to close. Because no tenant has been identified at this point, it would be premature to estimate timing.”