GLENWOOD | Two weeks after blaming the closure of Sanfratello's due to economic issues, owner Joe Sanfratello now says the eatery closed temporarily due to renovations.
The restaurant had closed April 7 after 45 years of business on Main Street.
In a Times story that ran earlier this month, Sanfratello identified a host of economic issues, including "high taxes, the area is changing, people are moving away, high food costs" as his reason for closing. Although at the time, he did say he would try to reopen.
But last week he said the main reason was that work needed to be done to the restaurant.
"We have to get that building up to code," Sanfratello said. "The kitchen floors all have to be redone."
He also said the restaurant needs a new roof, windows and siding, and that the village is trying to provide assistance.
"They really want us to open up again," Sanfratello said. "And we want to open up."
Glenwood Village President Kerry Durkin said last week the closing "surprised all of us."
Durkin said he would like to put together a redevelopment agreement to update the restaurant's interior so it meets the current code.
He said any redevelopment agreement would center on the use of tax increment financing funds, but any back taxes that might be owed on the property would have to be paid before an agreement could be reached.
Durkin said during last week's Village Board meeting the conversion of one of the restaurant's rooms into an apartment could have relieved some of the tax burden for the owner.
"Putting in an apartment in that building would have reduced the property taxes by 60 percent," Durkin said.
Sanfratello said one of the small dining rooms on the east side of the restaurant will be turned into living quarters.
Sanfratello said he has received many phone calls, and people are stopping by the business to find out the status of the popular eatery. He said he is eager to reopen so his longtime employees can go back to work.
Mike Sanfratello, the owner's son, said he has been out of the business for several years, but he will run the restaurant once it reopens.
He said a break in the weather allowed a chance for the needed renovations to take place.
"The building's a hundred years old," he said.
Mike Sanfratello said the restaurant is comprised of three houses and a large middle section that was added in 1979 to connect the three structures.
He said he is aiming for a reopening at the end of July, or possibly as late as August, but said the restaurant definitely will reopen.
"We have to," he said. "It's a landmark here in Glenwood."