SKOKIE, Ill. (WLS) -- After more than 30 years of serving up classic Jewish deli eats, The Bagel in Skokie is closing its doors.
"Sadness doesn't even come close to how I felt," said Chuck Dribin, a Skokie resident of his reaction to learning the news.
The restaurant has been an institution at Westfield Old Orchard mall since 1987. It has a robust menu including smoked fish, pastrami and corned beef, chopped liver and matzo ball soup (of course.) For those who regularly nosh at The Bagel, the restaurant is more than just an eatery, it's a family gathering place.
"We in true form ordered what all of the grandparents would have ordered anyway," said Beth Berk of her final pilgrimage today with her two sons and her father Bob Canel.
"It was like an event because everyone in the restaurant knew the kids were eating kippers," Canel recalled of when he would bring his young children with family.
This isn't the only family passing down The Bagel as tradition from generation to generation. Phyllis Abrams said word of the closing made its way to her granddaughter in Washington, D.C. Now, the duo has a dinner date for this weekend over the Thanksgiving break.
With everyone you talk to at The Bagel, the same message comes through one way or another: the food is good and the memories are even better.
"It's very sad because I think that people need it," said Abrams, a Highland Park resident, adding, "This is a connection.... Especially Jewish people this is our heritage...There are very few places that you walk in with that same feeling of family."
In a phone interview, restaurant Owner Danny Wolf said the good news is The Bagel's other location in Chicago's Lakeview neighborhood isn't going anywhere-and they too have pickles and bread on the tables.
But for those craving one more bowl of matzo ball soup (or the signature Mish-Mash soup), in Skokie, that location closes for good on November 29th at 3 pm.
The Bagel deli closing in Skokie after 30 years