Farewell to the Pizza Cottage, one of those great get-together places

 
 
Published12/9/2007 12:19 AM

The Pizza Cottage in Roselle was one of those places where you went for a soft landing after a hard day.

The pizzeria had been in the village for more than 50 years. It's a place where you were guaranteed good food (famous for its secret pasta sauce), good company -- a good time.

 

But it's closed its doors. The owners just think it's time to sell.

"We'll miss it dearly," said Joan Beauprez, a Pizza Cottage customer since 1964. "It's such a part of our community."

How many friendships were made there, in passing the pizza? How many first dates were there, leading to marriages of many years? How many great report cards, Little League home runs, good deeds and special milestones in life were celebrated there? How many broken dreams were repaired over long talks at the tables?

The Pizza Cottage is closed. But it will always be open in the hearts of its customers.

We all know of great get-together places like the Pizza Cottage that have come and gone after being around for so long.

Such as The Gables, a bar just outside of Wheaton. It opened its doors shortly after the repeal of Prohibition, but came under new ownership a couple of years ago. Daily Herald editors and reporters used to go there to unwind after long hours in the bureau.

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We looked out of place in our shirts and ties. The preferred garb in The Gables was blue jeans, an unbuttoned flannel shirt over a T-shirt, a baseball cap (not fitted but with the adjustable band in the back) and sneakers or boots. You didn't order a martini there, unless you wanted it made in a shot glass.

One of my favorite places to go, which is now gone, was the Come Back Inn in Maywood. When you entered the Come Back Inn, you walked into a cloud of smoke, both from the Marlboros and the ribs sizzling on the grill, and the floors were slippery from years and years of cooking grease that had settled and couldn't be scrubbed away.

But it was a fun place and the food was great. The Kodiak cheeseburger was beyond compare, though in eating it, it was best to have the cardiac care center on speed dial, with all the artery-clogging cholesterol and sodium in that one-half pound of steer corralled by a bun.

There were other places that didn't last long, except in memory.

When I first moved here in 1989, there was a video rental store in Bloomingdale. The owners greeted you as if you were walking into a high school reunion. They were quick to offer you a bag of hot, fresh buttered popcorn. Regular customers, like myself, were pleasantly surprised when the owners occasionally threw in a free movie or two to go with the one you paid to rent.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                       
 

But the store - its name I can't remember now-- went out of business. Maybe it was because big-box movie rental warehouses had set up shop nearby. Sometimes the market just doesn't support those who believe good customer service is the best way, the only way, to put cash in the register. It's a shame.

Pizza Cottage customers will find someplace else to go out to eat and to socialize.

It won't be the same.

You just can't replace a place that had been around for that long. But the last customer who left the Pizza Cottage was like the first one who walked in -- happy to have been there.

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