Gulliver's Pizza Chicago restaurant closing after more than 50 years

CHICAGO (WLS) -- Gulliver's Pizza in the city's West Ridge neighborhood holds antiques from around the world and countless fond memories.

"We've had a lot of family events here, we've brought friends here, we love the pizza," said customer Norlene Kemp.

The Olsens also had many gatherings at Gulliver's since the 1970s and came back Thursday when they heard the news.

"This was always a happy place," Bonnie Olsen said. "We would come here after softball games and celebrate. We would come here anytime to celebrate."

We have such great memories here and when a place like this closes down it's like a part of my life has ended," said Paul Olsen.

Gulliver's opened in 1965 by the original owners, who offered their unique pan pizza

"I remember the place fondly from when I was young," said current owner Dino Karageorgis. "It was nice to take over a location like that."

The Karageorgis family bought the restaurant in 2006, but keeping the sprawling 8000 square foot establishment profitable has be challenging during the pandemic with a labor shortage.

"Any business is hard to let go because you put your heart into it and it's tough to see it go, but in the end business is business," Karageorgis said. "It got to the point we couldn't function and if you can't function there's no reason to keep bleeding."

Now father Chris Karageorgis will retire and son Dino will run their Gulliver's location in Oak Brook.

Most of the light fixtures will stay with the new business but the antiques left are for sale. Thursday the biggest seller, as it always has been, was pan pizzas.
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