A longtime Buffalo Grove eatery abruptly shuttered its dining room Friday, but the closing is opening new possibilities for the owner of Pastabilities.
Owner Mark Esposito said the business at 167 McHenry Road will continue on as a catering service.
The Gurnee resident said the restaurant served its last meal at 1:30 p.m. Friday.
"We put a sign on the door and closed and went home," he said.
"We just decided that having a retail store is difficult."
Those difficulties, he said, include finding workers for the restaurant operation.
"Business is OK. Our problem was not having guys to cook. People don't want to work in a kitchen," he said.
Esposito said health and personal issues also factored into the decision.
"I can't do what I used to do," he said.
"Unfortunately, I can't do it myself, and with a heart condition, it changes the whole ballgame."
Esposito has been in the food business for three decades and has been operating Pastabilities in Buffalo Grove since 1993. He ran another Pastabilities in Vernon Hills, which closed in 2004.
Over the years, he accumulated a treasury of memories.
"There have been a lot of close friends and relationships. I have watched kids grow up and have kids," he said.
"You meet a lot of nice people over the years and a lot of families. I'll miss that."