The former owner of Isabella’s posted a note on the outside of the restaurant on 77th and Columbus late Monday after its sudden closure.
Stephen Hanson was the longtime owner of the restaurant and is the founder of BR Guest Hospitality, which also runs several other establishments including Atlantic Grill and Dos Caminos. Last year, it was reported that BR Guest was being sold.
While a spokesperson for the current owners told us that the landlord “chose not to renew” the lease, a representative for building owners Grunberg Realty wrote in a comment on West Side Rag that the restaurant “was left to languish by two successive corporate owners.” The restaurant also had to deal with an Americans with Disabilities Act lawsuit, Michael Grunberg wrote. “We as owners would have gladly renewed Isabella’s as we have for 30 yrs but unfortunately the economics and litigious world we live in ruined such a classic staple in our neighborhood.”
Grunberg added that “Maybe Stephen Hanson might be coaxed out of a well deserved retirement to open up another.”
Thanks to Anonymous and Ghostwriter for the photos and tips.